Original Research

Factors related to married or cohabiting women’s decision to use modern contraceptive methods in Mahikeng, South Africa

Godswill N. Osuafor, Sonto M. Maputle, Natal Ayiga
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 10, No 1 | a1431 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v10i1.1431 | © 2018 Godswill N. Osuafor, Sonto M. Maputle, Natal Ayiga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 January 2017 | Published: 11 October 2018

About the author(s)

Godswill N. Osuafor, School of Health Science, University of Venda; and, Population and Health Research Focus Area, North-West University, South Africa
Sonto M. Maputle, School of Health Science, University of Venda, South Africa
Natal Ayiga, Population and Health Research Focus Area, North-West University, South Africa


Background: Sexual and reproductive decision-making has emerged as an important health indicator in family reproductive health issues. While there is evidence of male dominance in sexual and reproductive health decisions, the role of socio-demographic factors on women’s decision to use contraception is not well understood.

Aim: This study aimed at exploring the socio-demographic factors associated with married women’s decision-making to use contraception.

Setting: The study was conducted in Mahikeng local municipality in the Modiri Molema District Municipality.

Methods: Data were generated in Mahikeng from married and cohabiting women, aged 18–49 years, from a survey comprising 568 participants. Data were collected on women’s demographic characteristics and contraceptive behaviour. Descriptive, bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to examine factors related to decision-making on contraceptive use.

Results: The result revealed that 57% of the participants were currently using contraception and 45% stated jointly-made decision regarding the use of contraception. Decisions on use of contraceptives were associated with education, occupation, religion, duration of union and home language. Other factors associated with decision-making on contraceptive use were perception on husband’s right to sex, use of force for sex and spousal communication about sex.

Conclusion: Empowering women to use contraception to meet their fertility desire should aim at improving their socio-economic status and spousal communication. Family planning providers should recognise socio-cultural barriers under which the relationships exist and how women can navigate these contextual factors.


contraceptive use; decision-making; married women; Mahikeng


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Crossref Citations

1. How might we motivate uptake of the Dual Prevention Pill? Findings from human-centered design research with potential end users, male partners, and healthcare providers
Wawira Nyagah, Kate Segal, Jess Feltham, Alex Ash, Jocelyn Major, Moowa Masani
Frontiers in Reproductive Health  vol: 5  year: 2023  
doi: 10.3389/frph.2023.1254953