Perceived Risks Associated with Contraceptive Method Use among Men and Women in Ibadan and Kaduna, Nigeria

Hilary M Schwandt, Joanna Skinner, Luciana E Hebert, Abdulmumin Saad

Abstract

Research shows that side effects are often the most common reason for contraceptive non-use in Nigeria; however, research to date has not explored the underlying factors that influence risk and benefit perceptions associated with specific contraceptive methods in Nigeria. A qualitative study design using focus group discussions was used to explore social attitudes and beliefs about family planning methods in Ibadan and Kaduna, Nigeria. A total of 26 focus group discussions were held in 2010 with men and women of reproductive age, disaggregated by city, sex, age, marital status, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and—for women only—family planning experience. A discussion guide was used that included specific questions about the perceived risks and benefits associated with the use of six different family planning methods. A thematic content analytic approach guided the analysis. Participants identified a spectrum of risks encompassing perceived threats to health (both real and fictitious) and social concerns, as well as benefits associated with each method. By exploring Nigerian perspectives on the risks and benefits associated with specific family planning methods, programs aiming to increase contraceptive use in Nigeria can be better equipped to highlight recognized benefits, address specific concerns, and work to dispel misperceptions associated with each family planning method.

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