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Concept: Family planning

171

BACKGROUND: Malaysia has relatively liberal abortion laws in that they permit abortions for both physical and mental health cases. However, abortion remains a taboo subject. The stagnating contraceptive prevalence rate combined with the plunging fertility rate suggests that abortion might be occurring clandestinely. This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of women and their needs with regard to abortion. METHODS: Women from diverse backgrounds were purposively selected from an urban family planning clinic in Penang, Malaysia based on inclusion criteria of being aged 21 and above and having experienced an induced abortion. A semi-structured interview guide consisting of open ended questions eliciting women’s experiences and needs with regard to abortion were utilized to facilitate the interviews. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. RESULTS: Thirty-one women, with ages ranging from 21–43 years (mean 30.16 +/-6.41), who had induced surgical/medical abortions were recruited from an urban family planning clinic. Ten women reported only to have had one previous abortion while the remaining had multiple abortions ranging from 2–8 times. The findings revealed that although women had abortions, nevertheless they faced problems in seeking for abortion information and services. They also had fears about the consequences and side effects of abortion and wish to receive more information on abortion. Women with post-abortion feelings ranged from no feelings to not wanting to think about the abortion, relief, feeling of sadness and loss. Abortion decisions were primarily theirs but would seek partner/husband’s agreement. In terms of the women’s needs for abortion, or if they wished for more information on abortion, pre and post abortion counseling and post-abortion follow up. CONCLUSIONS: The existing abortion laws in Malaysia should enable the government to provide abortion services within the law. Unfortunately, the study findings show that this is generally not so, most probably due to social stigma. There is an urgent need for the government to review its responsibility in providing accessible abortion services within the scope of the law and to look into the regulatory requirements for such services in Malaysia. This study also highlighted the need for educational efforts to make women aware of their reproductive rights and also to increase their reproductive knowledge pertaining to abortion. Besides the government, public education on abortion may also be improved by efforts from abortion providers, advocacy groups and related NGOs.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Birth control, Family planning, Human rights, Fertility, Abortion, History of abortion, Paternal rights and abortion

168

BACKGROUND: Significant racial disparities exist in the US unplanned pregnancy rate. We conducted a qualitative study using the theory of planned behavior as a framework to describe how low-income, African-American women approach family planning. STUDY DESIGN: Structured focus groups were held with adult, low-income, nonpregnant, African-American women in Connecticut. Data were collected using a standardized discussion guide, audio-taped and transcribed. Four independent researchers coded the transcripts using the constant comparative method. Codes were organized into overarching themes. RESULTS: Contraceptive knowledge was limited, with formal contraceptive education often occurring after sexual debut. Attitudes about contraception were overtly negative, with method effectiveness being judged by the presence of side effects. Family and friends strongly influence contraceptive decisions, while male partners are primarily seen as a barrier. Contraceptive pills are perceived as readily accessible, although compliance is considered a barrier. CONCLUSIONS: Contraception education should occur before sexual debut, should involve trusted family and community members and should positively frame issues in terms of achieving life goals.

Concepts: Scientific method, Pregnancy, Sexual intercourse, Family planning, Focus group, Combined oral contraceptive pill, Abortion, Qualitative research

167

BACKGROUND: In the developing countries millions of women in the reproductive age who don’t use contraceptives prefer to postpone or limit their birth. This indicates their failure to take necessary decision to prevent and avoid unwanted pregnancy. METHODS: A community-based cross sectional household survey was conducted to investigate unmet need for family planning and associated factors and total demand for family planning in Kassala, Eastern Sudan between 1st May and 31st July 2012. RESULTS: A total of 812 married women were enrolled in this study. Their mean age and parity was 31.8 (7.3) and 3.4 (1.8) respectively. Ever use of contraception was 25.4% (206/812) and 26.2% (213/812) were currently using contraception. Unmet need for spacing was 15.1% while unmet need for limiting was 0.7%. The pregnant and amenorrheic women whose the pregnancy or birth was unwanted and mistimed were 105 (13%) and 130 (16%) respectively. Using Westoff model the total unmet need was estimated as 44.8%. The total demand for family planning was 71%.In logistic regression model, while age, age at marriage, parity, residence and experience of child death were not associated with total unmet need for family planning, women education < secondary level (OR=7.8; CI=5.6-10.9; P=0.00), husband education < secondary level (OR=1.9; CI=1.3-2.6, P = 0.00) and woman's occupation; housewife (OR=4.3; CI=2.5-7.2; P=0.00) were associated with the total unmet need. CONCLUSIONS: Unmet need for family planning in Eastern Sudan was significantly higher among women with less than secondary education. Also; it is influenced by couple's educational status and woman's occupation. The results of this study necessitate the need for the programme managers to take into account the concept of reproductive health education.

Concepts: Family, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Birth control, Marriage, Family planning, Abortion, Secondary education

167

Summary This paper explores the hypothesis that gender attitude scales (which measure the degree of equity in gender attitudes) are associated with contraceptive use. Four hundred male and female respondents (200 couples) were interviewed using a pre-tested, structured questionnaire. Analyses included comparisons of means and prevalence rates on gender equity indicators, other related factors and socio-demographic characteristics; t-tests to compare mean scores on each gender scale for wives and husbands to identify any significant differences; chi-squared tests to compare associations between individual attributes, attitudes and contraceptive use; and multivariate logistic regression to examine associations between each gender scale and contraceptive use. The findings revealed that, on average, wives endorsed more inequitable gender attitudes compared with husbands on all gender attitude scales. For wives, more equitable gender attitudes were positively associated with contraceptive use. For husbands, the role of gender attitudes had no significant association with wives' reported contraceptive use. Family planning programmes that aim to challenge inegalitarian gender norms should not overlook women in their efforts since both men and women often accept and support inequality in a social system and, in some cases, it may be women’s gender attitudes that most influence family planning decisions.

Concepts: Family planning, Male, Female, Gender, Gender role, Arithmetic mean, Woman, Questionnaire

158

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is protected by the public authorities to ensure that people enjoy a free, satisfying, and safe sexual life. Despite the approval of the National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy in 2011, the progress achieved may be jeopardized by recent proposals for legislative changes affecting this area (abortion Law and 16/2012 Law) and by the impact of the current economic crisis. This article aims to describe the current situation of sexual and reproductive health in the Spanish population and to identify the potential impact of the economic crisis. To this end, we used the following information sources: the National Sexual Health Survey, the DAPHNE surveys, births and fetal deaths statistics from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics, the Registry of Voluntary Pregnancy Interruptions, reports from the National Epidemiology Center, and the National AIDS Registry. Sexual health and the availability of information are rated as good by the Spanish population. Among young people, schools and health services have become less important as information sources and the internet has become more important. Since the beginning of the crisis, contraceptive use and fertility have declined and maternity has been delayed. The economic crisis seems to have affected some indicators of sexual and reproductive health. However, the potential effects on other indicators should continue to be monitored because insufficient time may have passed for accurate determination of the full effect of the crisis.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Family planning, Health, Demography, Effect, Affect, Abortion, Sex education

88

To analyze data from recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in 21 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to examine patterns of interpregnancy intervals, unmet need, pregnancy risk, and family planning method use and method mix among women 0-23months postpartum.

Concepts: Family, Childbirth, Birth control, Family planning, Abortion, Planning, Sex education

44

We document that China’s One-Child Policy, one of the most radical approaches to limiting population growth, has produced significantly less trusting, less trustworthy, more risk-averse, less competitive, more pessimistic, and less conscientious individuals. Our data were collected from economics experiments conducted with 421 individuals born just before and just after the One-Child Policy’s introduction in 1979. Surveys to elicit personality traits were also used. We use the exogenous imposition of the One-Child Policy to identify the causal impact of being an only child, net of family background effects. The One-Child Policy thus has significant ramifications for Chinese society.

Concepts: Family planning, Demography, China, People's Republic of China, Big Five personality traits, Overpopulation, One-child policy, Only child

38

Family planning is one of the four pillars of the Safe Motherhood Initiative to reduce maternal death in developing countries. We aimed to estimate the effect of contraceptive use on maternal mortality and the expected reduction in maternal mortality if the unmet need for contraception were met, at country, regional, and world levels.

Concepts: Family, Birth control, Family planning, Death, Demography, Abortion, Maternal death, Sex education

32

The Affordable Care Act requires most private health plans to cover contraceptive methods, services and counseling, without any out-of-pocket costs to patients; that requirement took effect for millions of Americans in January 2013.

Concepts: Birth control, Family planning, Sex education, Reimbursement, Federal

31

A working knowledge of contraception will assist the pediatrician in both sexual health promotion as well as treatment of common adolescent gynecologic problems. Best practices in adolescent anticipatory guidance and screening include a sexual health history, screening for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, counseling, and if indicated, providing access to contraceptives. Pediatricians' long-term relationships with adolescents and families allow them to help promote healthy sexual decision-making, including abstinence and contraceptive use. Additionally, medical indications for contraception, such as acne, dysmenorrhea, and heavy menstrual bleeding, are frequently uncovered during adolescent visits. This technical report provides an evidence base for the accompanying policy statement and addresses key aspects of adolescent contraceptive use, including the following: (1) sexual history taking, confidentiality, and counseling; (2) adolescent data on the use and side effects of newer contraceptive methods; (3) new data on older contraceptive methods; and (4) evidence supporting the use of contraceptives in adolescent patients with complex medical conditions.

Concepts: Medicine, Pregnancy, Birth control, Sexual intercourse, Family planning, Combined oral contraceptive pill, Menstrual cycle, Fertility awareness