Factors that influence contraceptive use amongst women in Vanga health district, Democratic Republic of Congo

Kangale Izale, Indiran Govender*, Jean Pierre L. Fina, John Tumbo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Contraception is often necessary in order to plan for children and without it there is a risk of unplanned pregnancies. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, this often results in abortions by untrained persons with resultant morbidity and mortality. Aim: To investigate the factors that influence contraceptive use amongst women of childbearing age in the Vanga health zone. Methods: Cross-sectional survey using interviewer-administered questionnaires. Results: Of the 384 women recruited, a majority (46.1%) were in the 31-40 year age group; 52% had reached primary school and 88% did not have formal employment. One hundred and forty of the participants reported current use of contraception, with 60% of them using modern methods of contraception; 36.1% of them had begun using contraception before the age of 20; and the most common methods were oral contraceptive pills and injection, each accounting for 22.9%. There was variation in the duration of contraceptive use and the main reason for using contraception was to space children. Of the participants, 20.7% had been using contraception for more than two years. Seventy-seven (31.5%) of the women reported they did not use contraception because of a fear of side effects. Forty-four (18%) reported that they are unable to afford contraception, 38 (15.6%) had husbands who disapproved of contraceptive usage, 26 (10.6%) had a fear of infertility, 18 (7.4%) practised a religion that did not allow them to use contraception and 12 of the women (4.9%) did not use contraception because it was unavailable to them. Conclusion: Barriers to contraception in our study were fears of side effects and infertility, cost, male partner's objection, unavailability of contraception and religious beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number599
JournalAfrican Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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