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The pattern of unmet need of contraceptive use in married couples attending a tertiary care hospital in Eastern India

Sudarshan Dash, Ratikanta Tripathy, Bhaskar Thakur, Suresh Chandra Pradhan, Pushpam Soni, Manjushree Mohanty.


Background: Knowledge regarding contraceptives and practice of their use or nonuse decide the health outcomes of married women. There appears to be an unmet need of contraceptive use making a gap between the reproductive intentions and women’s contraceptive behaviour. This has led to many women being deprived of their needs of contraception as well as exposing them to unnecessary child birth.

Aims and Objectives: The aims of this study were (1) to determine the knowledge and practice of various contraceptive methods in married couples attending a tertiary care teaching hospital, (2) to know about their use, nonuse, or discontinuation among them, and (3) to suggest methods to improve their use and making them more safe and effective.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted for 6 months. Married women (n = 200) attending the obstetrics and gynecology outpatient department of KIMS hospital Bhubaneswar participated in the study. They were given a questionnaire after obtaining their informed consent. The information from them on sociodemographic variables, awareness, and knowledge was documented, and the practices of their use/nonuse were analyzed.

Results: Majority of women were aware of contraceptive usage (87%). The main reason for discontinuing of contraceptives was to get a child (49.2%). Among the nonusers, 29% attributed the reason to apprehension of side effects. Media (64.5%) was the most common source of information. 5% of women used medical termination of pregnancy kit to terminate the pregnancy without knowing the grave consequences of such usage.

Conclusion: The knowledge for contraceptives was high, but their usage was low. Hence, there is a need for improving the contraceptive use among married women. The approach to contraception should be designed taking into consideration of the patient’s reproductive intentions so that child birth could be a planned process and unwanted pregnancies can be avoided.

Key words: Knowledge; Practice; Contraceptive; Health Education

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