An all time low utilization of intrauterine contraceptive device as a birth spacing method--a qualitative descriptive study in district Rawalpindi, Pakistan.Reprod Health 2013; 10:10RH
Pakistan was among the leading countries in south Asia which started the family planning program in late 50s, forecasting the need to control the population. Despite this early intervention, fertility rate has declined but slower in Pakistan as compared to most other Asian countries. Pakistan has almost a stagnant contraceptive prevalence rate for more than a decade now, perhaps owing to the inadequate performance of the family planning programs. The provision and use of long term contraceptives such as IUCD has always been low (around 2%) and associated with numerous issues. Married women who want to wait before having another child, or end childbearing altogether, are not using any long term method of contraception.
A descriptive qualitative study was conducted from May to July 2012, to explore and understand the perceptions of women regarding the use of IUCDs and to understand the challenges/issues at the service provider's end. Six FGDs with community women and 12 in-depth interviews were conducted with family planning providers. The data was analyzed using the Qualitative Content Analysis approach.
The study revealed that the family planning clients are reluctant to use IUCDs because of a number of myths and misconceptions associated with the method. They have reservations about the provider's capability and quality of care at the facility. Private health providers are not motivated and are reluctant to provide the IUCDs because of inadequate counseling skills, lack of competence and improper supporting infrastructure. Government programs either do not have enough supplies or trained staff to promote the IUCD utilization.
Besides a well-designed community awareness campaign, providers' communication and counseling skills have to be enhanced, as these are major contributing factors in IUCD acceptance. Ongoing training of all family planning service providers in IUCD insertion is very important, along with strengthening of their services.