Perceptions of Temporary Contraceptive Methods in Rural India
Jennifer E Scharff, Emory University
Laila Garda, King Edward Memorial Hospital
Mallika Alexander, King Edward Memorial Hospital
This study examines the decision making process that men and women in a rural community in Pune District, Maharashtra, India, use when choosing a contraceptive method. An overwhelming majority of couples choose female sterilization as their preferred method of contraception, even though modern temporary (i.e. reversible) methods are available and are promoted and subsidized by the Indian government. Men and women (married, ages 18-45) were interviewed individually and through focus group discussions to gain both individual experiences and community perceptions regarding the decision to use or not to use temporary contraceptive methods. Results show that many misconceptions have led to fear by both men and women of serious side effects and infertility as a result of temporary contraceptive use. Pressure from other family members has also resulted in a low uptake of temporary contraceptive methods.