Ghana has very low contraceptive prevalence and is one of a few nations that report declines in contraceptive use over time based on two of the most recent national surveys. Fear of side effects is a leading cause of non-use of contraception. The researchers did this study to gain a more holistic understanding of why Ghanaian women are not using contraception.

The researchers used focus groups with vignettes to elicit normative beliefs about contraception. The researchers recruited ninety-one women from three different clinics within, Ghana: the antenatal clinic, the student clinic, and the child welfare clinic. Focus groups were homogeneous concerning age group and union status.

The analysis revealed that women were most concerned with the menstrual irregularities caused by hormonal methods. Women had a strong belief that the hospital was the best place to get contraception as blood tests were needed to match women with the appropriate method. Knowledge of how methods worked and of basic reproductive biology was low.

The study concluded that poor knowledge of how to use modern methods combined with myths and misinformation should be the target of programs to increase modern contraceptive prevalence in Ghana.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/40/1/30