Birth control knowledge lacking in developing world

July 8, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

In developing countries, young women’s use of modern methods of contraception is limited by a range of factors, a review of seven studies conducted in five countries suggests.

Lack of knowledge, access problems and side-effect fears were the “overarching themes” limiting the women’s use of hormonal contraceptives such as the birth control pill or hormone implants, Dr. Lisa M. Williamson of the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow and her colleagues report.

The studies were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia and asked young women about their views on contraceptive use. Results showed that overall, the young women had gotten very little information on sex or contraception, and the information they did get was frequently misleading. For example, one young woman thought she only had to take the birth control pill before having sex. The belief that hormonal methods might impair future fertility was widespread.

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