BMC public health 2017 10 1017(1) 792 doi 10.1186/s12889-017-4815-5
Low contraceptive uptake and high unmet need for contraception remain significant issues in Uganda compared to neighboring countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. Although prior research on contraceptive uptake has indicated that male partners strongly influence women’s decisions around contraceptive use, there is limited in-depth qualitative research on knowledge and concerns regarding modern contraceptive methods among Ugandan men.
Using in-depth interviews (N = 41), this qualitative study investigated major sources of knowledge about contraception and perceptions of contraceptive side effects among married Ugandan men.
Men primarily reported knowledge of contraceptives based on partner’s experience of side effects, partner’s knowledge from health providers and mass media campaigns, and partner’s knowledge from her peers. Men were less likely to report contraceptive knowledge from health care providers, mass media campaigns, or peers. Men’s concerns about various contraceptive methods were broadly associated with failure of the method to work properly, adverse health effects on women, and severe adverse health effects on children. Own or partner’s human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status did not impact on contraceptive knowledge.
Overall, we found limited accurate knowledge about contraceptive methods among men in Uganda. Moreover, fears about the side effects of modern contraceptive methods appeared to be common among men. Family planning services in Uganda could be significantly strengthened by renewed efforts to focus on men’s knowledge, fears, and misconceptions.