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Informed Choice in Modern Contraceptive Method Use: Pattern and Predictors among Young Women in India
Authors: Manas Ranjan Pradhan, Surendra Kumar Patel, and Antim Alok Saraf
Source: Journal of Biosocial Science, Published online; DOI: 10.1017/S0021932019000828
Topic(s): Contraception
Family planning
Country: Asia
  India
Published: DEC 2019
Abstract: Research on informed choice in modern contraceptive method acceptance by young married women is pertinent in the broader context of individual freedom and reproductive rights, especially in countries where women continue to have limited control over their reproductive and contraceptive choices. This study in India asked: (1) is young married women's acceptance of specific modern contraceptive methods an informed choice? and (2) what are the enablers and barriers to informed choice? The study used data for currently married women aged 15-24 (N = 20,752) from the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) conducted in 2015-16. A Method Information Index (MII) was calculated as a measure of informed choice from the percentage of users who responded 'yes' to all three questions on: whether they were informed about methods other than the one they received, told about the method-specific side-effects, and advised what to do if they experienced side-effects. Binary logistic regression analysis was carried out to examine the adjusted effect of factors associated with the MII separately for female sterilization, the intrauterine device and the oral contraceptive pill, and a combined MII including all three methods plus injectables. One-fifth of the study women used any modern contraceptive method at the time of survey, of which only 36% had fully informed choice. The likelihood of being informed about the methods was significantly higher among those using the oral contraceptive pill (OR: 1.75, CI 1.58-1.94), IUD (OR: 2.23, CI 1.97-2.52) and injectables (OR: 1.37, CI 0.97-1.94) compared with those who were sterilized. Informed choice varied by region and the socioeconomic profile of the users. Inadequately informed choice violates the reproductive rights of young women and might result in higher post-use health problems, discontinuation of and unmet need for contraceptives, unintended pregnancies, induced abortions and regret, adversely affecting women's health. Training of health/family planning workers in India about the importance of reproductive rights is urgently required to enhance informed contraceptive choice and improve the health of young married women. Keywords: India; Informed choice; Method Information Index.