The factors underlying contraceptive method choice are poorly understood in many countries, including Bangladesh. It is important to understand how Bangladeshi women’s perceptions of a method’s attributes are associated with their intention to use that method.
Data on 2,605 married women aged 15–39 living in rural Matlab were taken from a baseline survey conducted in 2016. Conditional logit analysis was used to examine associations between 12 method attributes and intention to use the pill or the injectable among the 583 fecund women not currently using a method. Method attributes included those relating to ease of obtainment and use, efﬁcacy, health effects, husband’s approval, the experiences of the respondent and the experiences of women in the respondent’s social network.
Women tended to perceive the pill more positively than the injectable. For example, greater proportions of women reported believing that the pill is easy to use (90% vs. 72%) and does not cause serious health problems (75% vs. 38%). The likelihood that a woman intended to use a method was positively associated with her perception that it is easy to use (odds ratio, 2.9) and does not cause serious health problems (1.7) or affect long-term fertility (2.9). Satisﬁed past users of a method were more likely than never users to report intending to use the method (5.2). Intention to use the pill rather than the injectable was positively associated with education (2.0–3.6) and having a migrant husband (1.7).
Negative beliefs not supported by evidence, particularly about the injectable, are associated with women’s intention to use a contraceptive method. The results may be useful in improving contraceptive care, counseling and training.
Fauzia Akhter Huda is project coordinator, Faisal Ahmmed is statistician, Hassan Rushekh Mahmood is field research manager and Anisuddin Ahmed is assistant scientist—all at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka. John B. Casterline is Lazarus Professor in Population Studies, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA. Kazuyo Machiyama is assistant professor and John Cleland is emeritus professor— both at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.