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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Family planning and couples: Methods and services

Rebecka Inga Lundgren, MPH, Georgetown University Medical Center, Institute for Reproductive Health, 4301 Connecticut Ave., Suite 310, Washington, DC 20008, 202-687-7969, lundgrer@georgetown.edu

Although the relationships between men and women are central to reproductive health, programs rarely include family planning methods or services for couples. Introduction of the Standard Days Method (SDM), a new fertility awareness-based method, necessarily involves addressing couples. Operations research was conducted by CARE and CASP-PLAN in India and Project Concern International in El Salvador to test strategies to involve couples in family planning. Baseline and endline community surveys, quarterly interviews with 800 users, and focus groups/individual interviews with men and women were conducted during these studies. This paper describes strategies used to reach couples, presents results on their relative feasibility and success, and discusses the effect of involving men in counseling. Despite considerable effort to include men, results were mixed. CARE-India and Project Concern reached about half of the male partners, but CASP-India directly counseled only 16%, in part because of problems recruiting male providers. Acceptance and correct use of the SDM was higher when programs involved men. The percentage of unplanned pregnancies in El Salvador was significantly lower when the husband received counseling from a provider. Similar results were found in India. Survey results show an increase in contraceptive prevalence after expanding family planning choices and information available to men. Positive effects also were seen in reproductive health knowledge and attitudes among men and women. Programmatic implications for couple involvement in family planning will be discussed.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the session participants will be able to

Keywords: Gender, Family Planning

Related Web page: www.irh.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Role of Relationships, Gender and Men in Reproductive Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA