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Balancing effectiveness, side-effects and work: women's perceptions and experiences with modern contraceptive technology in Cambodia

Author

Listed:
  • Sadana, Ritu
  • Snow, Rachel

Abstract

This community-based study presents the results of 17 focus-group discussions primarily among poor married women of reproductive age in urban and rural Cambodia regarding their experiences with modern contraceptive methods and their preferences for different technical attributes, including effectiveness, mode of administration, secrecy and rapid return of fertility. Key findings indicate that women who use modern contraceptive technologies desire highly effective methods of birth control. Cambodian women are primarily interested in longer-acting methods, view weight gain positively and are less concerned about a rapid return to fertility upon discontinuation of a method or secrecy from their partners. Women report a high level of side-effects as well as a high level of individual variation between side-effects and each modern contraceptive method used. Women with more knowledge and experience of modern contraceptive technologies alter their preference for highly effective methods based on a method's perceived suitability. Specifically, women may switch from a modern method associated with negative side-effects to a lesser effective traditional method, either to take a break from unwanted side-effects or discontinue modern methods altogether, if another suitable method is unavailable. These and other findings point to the need for greater development and choice of contraceptive methods with different technical attributes; improved information that clearly and simply describes how each method works within a women's body and its expected side-effects; improved access to reproductive health services; and improved assessment of women's underlying burden of reproductive illness not directly associated with modern contraceptives.

Suggested Citation

  • Sadana, Ritu & Snow, Rachel, 1999. "Balancing effectiveness, side-effects and work: women's perceptions and experiences with modern contraceptive technology in Cambodia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 343-358, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:49:y:1999:i:3:p:343-358
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