The importance of husbands' engagement in family planning discussion to promote contraception use for birth spacing in rural India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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The objective of this study is to assess whether recent marital discussion on family planning is associated with contraceptive use among young couples residing in rural Maharashtra, India. The study methods used involved analysis of baseline data collected from 867 couples participating in the CHARM Family Planning evaluation trial. Participants were surveyed on demographics, contraceptive behaviour, and a six-item scale on marital discussions concerning family planning (including family size and contraceptive use) over the preceding six months. Multivariate logistic regression analysis assessed associations between marital family planning discussions and current modern contraceptive use for birth spacing, adjusting for demographics. The results revealed that 22.0 per cent of women reported current use of modern contraceptives for birth spacing. Nearly half (46.4 per cent) of women reported ‘high marital family planning discussion,’ based on a median split dichotomizing the scale as high or low. Women who reported ‘high discussion’ on family planning compared to those with ‘low discussion’ were seven times more likely to use modern contraceptives for birth spacing (45.4 per cent 9.8 per cent; adjusted odds ratio = 7.1, 95 per cent, confidence interval = 4.9 – 10.3). In conclusion, the findings support promotion of marital family planning counselling to improve contraceptive use among young rural married couples.