Author Affiliation, Ana.
The impact of side effects on family planning use among female clients of the public health services in Jamaica
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
A one-year longitudinal study was undertaken in Kingston, Jamaica, to examine (i) the experience of side effects among female contraceptive users, (ii) the role of side effects in method continuation, and (iii) counselling regarding side effects. The study consisted of 463 women who utilized public health centres in Kingston and were either new users of contraceptives or who were switching contraceptive methods. They were recruited over a two-month period in 1998 and followed up for one year. All follow-up, interviews were done at the women's homes and complete interviews were obtained for 323 women. Information was collected about socio-economic characteristics, contraceptive history, service factors, experience with method and length of use. Forty-eight per cent of the women experienced side effects with the method accepted on recruitment to the study. Common side effects were irregular bleeding, no period, headaches, nausea/dizziness and weight gain/loss. These side effects occurred mainly among pill and injection users. The occurrence of side effects had a negative impact on continuation rates. Forty-seven per cent of the women stated that they had received counselling regarding side effects. The level and impact of side effects among family planning acceptors at public health centres in Jamaica is of significance to the family planning programme. Method options need to be widened and counselling needs to be improved to ensure that women fully understand the issue of side effects and make informed choices about contraception.....