In an article published this month in Springer Nature journal Contraception and Reproductive Medicine, Alexandra Alvergne, Rose Stevens and Eshetu Gurmu examine why women are discontinuing to use modern contraception in Ethiopia.
'Side effects and the need for secrecy: characterising discontinuation of modern contraception and its causes in Ethiopia using mixed methods'
Contraceptive discontinuation is a major barrier to reducing global unmet needs for family planning, but the reasons why women discontinue contraception are poorly understood. Using both qualitative and quantitative data from Ethiopia where 1 in 5 women has an unmet need for contraception, we show that physiological and social side-effects of contraceptive use, not a lack of formal education, are the root causes of contraceptive abandonment. The findings strongly suggest that dispelling misconceptions through educating women is not addressing the root causes of discontinuation, and that priority should be given to (i) tackling male perceptions over women’s reproductive decision-making, (ii) acknowledging the importance of real side effects in counselling material and (iii) evaluating the suitability of currently used contraceptives to the physiology of Ethiopian women.
A pdf of the article can be accessed here.