Background: To understand the low modern contraceptive prevalence in Cameroon, we reviewed the methods chosen and determined their side effects among patients in an urban setting.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study at the "Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) Clinic" in Yaoundé. Data were processed by SPSS software version 20.0 for Windows, and all tests were considered statistically significant at P < .05.
Results: Of the 1180 women sampled, the most chosen methods were as follows: depot medroxy progesterone acetate: 72.1% (787 of 1091), followed by oral combined contraceptives: 21.3% (232 of 1091), subcutaneous implants: 3.2% (35 of 1091), and intrauterine contraceptive devices: 1.9% (21 of 1091). A hundred and forty two (14.5%) of the 977 women received at least once (revisits) at the Center, reported at least one side effect. Irregular vaginal bleeding was the most frequent side effect: 44.6% (84 of 188 total documented side effects). Side effects were most common among users of subcutaneous implants: 28% (7 of the 25 implant users).
Conclusions: Prescription of contraceptives should reflect not only the desire of couples but also the side effects associated with each method. This would optimize observance and adherence, consequently decreasing the failure rate.
Keywords: Cameroon; Modern; contraceptive choice—side effects; family planning; women.