Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Misperceptions, misinformation and myths about modern contraceptive use in Ghana

TitleMisperceptions, misinformation and myths about modern contraceptive use in Ghana
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHindin, MJ, McGough, LJ, Adanu, RM
JournalJ Fam Plann Reprod Health Care
Date PublishedJan
ISBN Number1471-1893 (Print)1471-1893 (Linking)
Accession Number23771916
Keywords*Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Adolescent, Adult, Child, Communication, Contraception Behavior/*psychology/*statistics & numerical data, Contraception/*psychology/*utilization, Contraceptive Agents, Female/*therapeutic use, education and training, family planning service provision, Family Planning Services, Female, Focus Groups, Ghana, Humans, Qualitative Research, service delivery

OBJECTIVE: Ghana, like the rest of West Africa, has very low contraceptive prevalence and is one of a few nations that reports declines in contraceptive use over time based on two of the most recent national surveys. Fear of side effects is a leading cause of non-use of contraception, based on national surveys. The objective of this study was to gain a more holistic understanding of why Ghanaian women are not using contraception. METHODS: We used focus groups with vignettes to elicit normative beliefs about contraception. We recruited 91 women from three different clinics within Legon Hospital in Accra, Ghana: the antenatal clinic, the student clinic and the child welfare clinic. Focus groups were homogeneous with regard to age group and union status. RESULTS: We found that women were most concerned with the menstrual irregularities caused by hormonal methods. In addition, women believed strongly that the hospital was the best place to get contraception as blood tests were needed to match women with the appropriate method. Knowledge of how methods worked and of basic reproductive biology was low. CONCLUSIONS: Poor knowledge of how to use modern methods combined with myths and misinformation should be the targets of programmes to increase modern contraceptive prevalence in Ghana.