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Factors that influence contraceptive use amongst women in Vanga health district, Democratic Republic of Congo

African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine

AOSIS Publishing

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      Abstract

      BACKGROUD: Contraception is often necessary in order to plan for children and without it there is a risk of unplanned pregnancies. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, this often results in abortions by untrained persons with resultant morbidity and mortality. AIM: To investigate the factors that influence contraceptive use amongst women of childbearing age in the Vanga health zone. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey using interviewer-administered questionnaires. RESULTS: Of the 384 women recruited, a majority (46.1%) were in the 31-40 year age group; 52% had reached primary school and 88% did not have formal employment. One hundred and forty of the participants reported current use of contraception, with 60% of them using modern methods of contraception; 36.1% of them had begun using contraception before the age of 20; and the most common methods were oral contraceptive pills and injection, each accounting for 22.9%. There was variation in the duration of contraceptive use and the main reason for using contraception was to space children. Of the participants, 20.7% had been using contraception for more than two years. Seventy-seven (31.5%) of the women reported they did not use contraception because of a fear of side effects. Forty-four (18%) reported that they are unable to afford contraception, 38 (15.6%) had husbands who disapproved of contraceptive usage, 26 (10.6%) had a fear of infertility, 18 (7.4%) practised a religion that did not allow them to use contraception and 12 of the women (4.9%) did not use contraception because it was unavailable to them. CONCLUSION: Barriers to contraception in our study were fears of side effects and infertility, cost, male partner's objection, unavailability of contraception and religious beliefs.

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      The causes of unmet need for contraception and the social content of services.

      Since the 1960s, survey data have indicated that substantial proportions of women who have wanted to stop or delay childbearing have not practiced contraception. This discrepancy is referred to as the "unmet need" for contraception. The traditional interpretation, that these women lack access to contraceptive supplies and services, has led in turn to an emphasis on expanding family planning programs. This study analyzes survey data and related anthropological studies on the causes of unmet need and concludes that the conventional explanation is inadequate. Although for many environments geographic access to services remains a problem, the principal reasons for nonuse are lack of knowledge, fear of side effects, and social and familial disapproval. This finding underscores the need for expanded investment in services that not only provide contraceptives, but also attend to closely related health and social needs of prospective clients. Programs are likely to be most successful when they reach beyond the conventional boundaries of service provision to influence and alter the cultural and familial factors that limit voluntary contraceptive use.
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        The Causes of Unmet Need for Contraception and the Social Content of Services

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          Dual protection: more needed than practised or understood.

           M Berer (2006)
          Although non-barrier contraceptive use has become a global norm, unprotected sex in relation to sexually transmitted infections remains the norm almost everywhere. Dual protection is protection from unwanted pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and is a form of safer sex for heterosexual couples that is more needed than practised or understood. This paper draws on a review of the literature in family planning, obstetrics and gynaecology, and AIDS-related journals from 1998 to early 2005. Definitions of dual protection, found mainly in family planning literature, are very narrow. Condoms remain the mainstay of dual protection, but the aim of this paper is to provide an expanded list of dual protection methods to show that there is a range of options. These include non-penetrative sex and the increasing use of condoms with the back-up of emergency contraception on the part of young people. The fact that people may fail to use dual protection consistently and correctly is not a valid reason not to promote it. It is never too late for those providing family planning and STI/HIV prevention services to start promoting condoms and dual protection. In the long-term, the development of highly efficacious and highly acceptable methods of dual protection is an urgent research priority, starting with a wider range of condoms that will appeal to more people.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            S2071-29362014000100011

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            General life sciences, Internal medicine, Health & Social care

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