There is limited sex education, and the state is highly influential. This has resulted in extensive coverage of contraception, with long-acting methods being favored. The Chinese constitute a large proportion of asylum applicants to the UK. This study examines how their cultural background shapes their experiences and decisions about family planning in the UK.
The researchers drew data from 10 semi-structured qualitative interviews with female Chinese asylum seekers recruited through a UK family planning clinic.
The participants appreciated the increased autonomy provided by the UK system. Traditional cultural beliefs and values influenced the choice of contraceptive method, and the effect of hormonal contraception on menstruation was particularly concerning. Women arrived from China with little knowledge of contraception. Friends from a similar background were the most trusted source of advice. When transitioning from China to the UK, unwanted pregnancies had occurred amongst unmarried women who had missed out on sex education while living in China.
The study concluded that Chinese societal and cultural practices continue to influence family planning decisions within the UK. Culturally competent health strategies are needed to ensure Chinese immigrant women fully benefit from family planning within the UK.