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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


MAROTO DE AGUSTIN, Alicia et al. Knowledge and use of contraceptive methods on the part of the female population in one health-care district. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.72, n.6, pp.547-570. ISSN 2173-9110.

BACKGROUND: The use of contraceptives is related to factors including those of a demographic, social, economic, educational and ideological nature. The purpose of our study is that of ascertaining with what contraceptive methods the women of child-bearing age assigned to a given health care center are familiar, in addition to prevalence of the use thereof. METHODS: Based on the health care card listing, 389 of the 5800 women of child-bearing age (15-45 years old) assigned to the health care center in question were selected by means of a systematic sampling. After sending them a letter notifying them of the reason for this study, they were contacted by telephone to fill out the survey, which included questions regarding their knowledge and use of contraceptive methods, their sociocultural characteristics and sexual activity. Appointments at the health center were made with those women who did not have telephones. RESULTS: 178 women were contacted, 166 of whom took part in the survey (42.7% response rate). 86 of these women (51.8%; CI: 44.2-59.4%) were using some means of contraception. Nevertheless, among women at risk of unwanted pregnancies, the prevalence of use was 70.5% (CI: 62.4-78.6%), being worthy of special mention the fact that solely 45.4% of the women within the 40-45 age group were using contraceptives, revealing a frequency significantly lower than the other age groups. The methods known to the greatest degree were the condom (90.4%), oral contraceptives (89.2%) and the IUD (78.3%), the knowledge of other means being scant. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of use of contraceptive methods among women at risk of unwanted pregnancy is acceptable, although strikingly low among the women in the 40-45 age group. The methods known most were the condom, oral contraceptives and the intrauterine device.

Palabras clave : Oral contraceptives; Women’s health; Cross-sectional study; Survey; Intrauterine device (IUD); Child-bearing health care.

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