Social and logistical barriers to the use of reversible contraception among women in a rural Indian village

J Health Popul Nutr. 2008 Jun;26(2):241-50.


Women in a small coastal village in western India were asked to explain their preference for female sterilization over modern reversible contraceptive methods. Married women aged 19+ years were interviewed in six focus groups (n=60) and individually (n=15) regarding contraceptive methods and their use and side-effects. Women publicly denied contraceptive use but privately acknowledged limited use. They obtained contraceptive information from other village women and believed that modem reversible methods and vasectomy have high physical and social risks, and fertility goals could be achieved without their use. Women felt that reversible contraception is undesirable, socially unacceptable, and usually unnecessary, although the achievement of fertility goals is likely due to the use of female sterilization with abortion as a back-up method. Economic migration of village men may also play a role. Although women with high social capital can effectively disseminate correct knowledge, the impact on the uptake of reversible method is uncertain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Contraception Behavior*
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Rural Health