Original Research

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

Kangale Izale, Indiran Govender, Jean-Pierre L. Fina, John Tumbo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 6, No 1 | a599 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v6i1.599 | © 2014 Kangale Izale, Indiran Govender, Jean-Pierre L. Fina, John Tumbo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2013 | Published: 15 May 2014

About the author(s)

Kangale Izale, Department of Family Medicine, Protestant University of Congo, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
Indiran Govender, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, University of the Limpopo, Medunsa Campus, South Africa
Jean-Pierre L. Fina, Department of Family Medicine, Protestant University of Congo, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
John Tumbo, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, University of the Limpopo, Medunsa Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: 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 hundredand 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.


Keywords

contraception, cost, barriers to contraception, Husband's objection to contraception

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