Understanding Myths, Misconceptions and Barriers Associated with Modern Contraceptive Use in Cambodia

Ghazaleh Samandari, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Katherine O'Connell, Population Services International (PSI)
Panhavy Hav, Population Services International (PSI)
Long Dianna, Population Services International (PSI)
Vandy Ly, Population Services International (PSI)
Heng Kheng, Population Services International (PSI)
Dan Borapich, Population Services International (PSI)

Less than one-third (27.2%) of married Cambodian women use modern contraceptive methods, though 23% want to delay the birth of their next child by two or more years and 56% do not want any more children. This qualitative study was conducted in rural and urban areas of a province of Cambodia to understand the barriers to modern contraceptive use. Results show that social dynamics contribute to a woman’s initiation, use and discontinuation of contraceptive methods. Rumors of myths and misconceptions about side effects are the main barriers to use and are spread among the women through key players in their social networks: elders, family members and other women. Husbands and medical providers serve as positive influences on contraceptive use. Programs should help unpack the myths around side effects and should target husbands to encourage wives to seek birth spacing service from a trained provider.

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Presented in Session 31: Contraceptive Use in Asia