Side-Effects and Social Norms Influencing Family Planning Use in Nepal

S P Wasti, R Simmons, N Limbu, S Chipanta, L Haile, J Velcoff, D Shattuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Effective family planning (FP) programs promote modern contraceptives and help individuals achieve their reproductive goals. Despite Nepal's relatively high contraceptive prevalence rate (50%), 27% of married women have an unmet need for FP, and almost half of Nepalese women give birth by the age of 20. This formative study explored the factors that influence the use of contraceptives in Nepal. 

Objective: To provide information about barriers to family planning use, general fertility awareness, and barriers to family planning use among difficult to reach groups communities. 

Method: This qualitative study was implemented in five districts in Nepal. A total of 36 focus group discussions, 18 participatory group discussions, and 144 in-depth interviews were conducted. Participants included young married women, men and FP service providers in eight village development committees and two municipalities. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed in Nepali and then translated into English. Data was organized using Atlas Ti 7 and coded using a thematic analysis. 

Result: Four key themes emerged from the analyses: 1) limited knowledge on fertility awareness and family planning methods, 2) religious-cultural factors including social norms impediments contraceptives use, 3) fear of side-effects, myths and misconceptions about modern contraceptives, and 4) structural barriers such as limited family planning services, and lack of same gender providers make it difficult for many women to access modern contraceptives services. 

Conclusion: Continuing Nepal's recent gains in contraceptives prevalence rate will require strong educational interventions addressing fertility awareness, social norms around son preference, dispelling fear of side-effects while increasing the family planning method-mix. Health service providers should continue counseling clients on the management of potential side-effects and ensure accurate information about modern contraceptives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-229
Number of pages8
JournalKathmandu University Medical Journal
Volume15 No.3
Issue number59
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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