Myths, Misconceptions Still Discourage Use Of Family Planning
Family planning myths most prevalent at the individual and community levels include “people who use contraceptives end up with health problems,” “contraceptives are dangerous to women’s health” and “contraceptives can harm your womb.”
Many women and couples with unmet needs for either spacing or limiting births do not practice contraception because they lack adequate knowledge of the social, economic, and health benefits of family planning.
They also do not know which methods are available or appropriate for them or do not know where to obtain a method. Others are discouraged from using a method because they believe that their partner, family, community, or religion is opposed to contraception.
Most people tend to look for or believe information that already fits their established opinions and beliefs. As a result, if the accurate information is not presented effectively, both users and contraceptive providers may double down on their existing misunderstanding of how contraceptive methods work instead of taking in this new information and becoming more willing to use or effectively offer family planning.
Contraceptive utilization has multiple benefits; it can prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the number of abortions, and lower the incidence of death and disability related to complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
Increased contraceptive use and reduced unmet need for contraception are central to improving maternal health, reducing child mortality, and also combating HIV/AIDS.
Education programs are needed to dispel common myths and misconceptions about modern contraceptives. This will encourage community-level discussions which may be effective at reducing myths and increasing modern contraceptive use.