Introduction: Meeting targets of the Sustainable Development Goals in the domain of maternal health and the Family Planning 2020 commitments for Cameroon requires an increased use of modern contraception. Long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are methods which have been proven highly efficient with contraceptive failure rates of less than 1%. The objective of this survey was to determine the contraceptive method mix in the Biyem-Assi Health District and identify factors associated to the use of LARCs.
Methodology: A cross-sectional community-based study was conducted from March 2015 to April 2015 targeting current female contraceptive users of childbearing age in the Biyem-Assi Health District. A multistep cluster sampling was used and data collected by trained surveyors using a pretested and validated questionnaire. Data were analysed using the statistical software Epi-Info version 3.5.4. Logistic regressions were used to identify associations between the use of LARCs and selected covariates and the strength of association measured with the odds ratio.
Results: A total of 437 eligible women were included in the survey. Their mean age was 26.7±5.8 years and 45.8% were in a union. The contraceptive method mix decreased in this order; male condoms (76.0%), female condoms (7.6%), oral contraceptive pills (5.0%), implants (4.6%), and intrauterine devices (3.4%) giving us a LARC rate of 8%. Only 54.0% and 46.9% of the participants reported to be knowledgeable of the implant and intrauterine device respectively. Their contraceptive choices were determined principally by perceived efficiency and accessibility. The major factor significantly associated to LARC use was the number of living children above 2 (AOR = 3.90[1.53-9.94], p-value = 0.004). Though not statistically significant, associations were found between LARC use and other factors like marital status, level of education, religion and future fertility desire.
Conclusion: The rate of use of LARCs is still very low among these women. The number of living children is significantly associated with the use of LARCs. The local family planning policy makers should intensify sensitization on the benefits and side effects of modern contraception and LARCs in order to create more awareness and improve contraceptive uptake.