Original Research

Male attitudes towards family planning in the Limpopo province of South Africa

Ndifelani D. Radzuma, Gert J.O. Marincowitz, Clara Marincowitz
South African Family Practice | Vol 64, No 1 : Part 4| a5587 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v64i1.5587 | © 2022 Ndifelani D. Radzuma, Gert J.O. Marincowitz, Clara Marincowitz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 May 2022 | Published: 06 October 2022

About the author(s)

Ndifelani D. Radzuma, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Mankweng, South Africa; and, Limpopo Health, Kgapane Hospital, Kgapane, South Africa
Gert J.O. Marincowitz, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Mankweng, South Africa; and, Department of Family Medicine, Limpopo Department of Health, Mankweng Hospital, Mankweng, South Africa
Clara Marincowitz, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, South Africa; and, SA Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Women often do not receive support from their partners with regards to family planning (FP), which can lead to hesitancy and inconsistent use. This study sought to understand the male attitudes that contribute to this.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted in 2019 using focus group discussions (FGDs) with purposively selected men aged ≥ 25 years and in a relationship with a woman of childbearing age. An open-ended question guide was used to explore men’s perceptions regarding FP. The discussions were recorded, translated and transcribed verbatim, whereafter transcripts were coded and analysed thematically.

Results: Three major themes were identified, namely: (1) the advantages of FP, including financial benefits and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy; (2) the disadvantages of FP, including perceived adverse effects on men and women, as well as marital difficulties; and (3) the exclusion of men from FP by health workers and their partners.

Conclusion: Men felt ambivalent towards FP. They were aware of the benefits thereof, but were hesitant to allow their female partners to use contraceptives, because of several misconceptions about the adverse effects. This underscores the need to involve men in FP programmes.


Keywords

family planning; contraception; rural men; perceptions; attitudes; decision-making; communication; focus group discussion

Metrics

Total abstract views: 1671
Total article views: 2086


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.