Male Involvement in Expanding Family Planning Choices in Rural India
Rebecka I. Lundgren, Georgetown University
Loveleen Johri, CARE
India, the second most populous country in the world, has significant unmet need for family planning. Unmet need for spacing methods is especially high, in part due to limited choices and negligible male involvement. CARE addressed these issues by incorporating the Standard Days Method, a new fertility awareness-based method, into a community-based health program in rural villages. This study assessed the effect of counseling both members of the couple versus women only. 482 SDM users were interviewed quarterly to assess user characteristics, correct use, continuation, satisfaction and male involvement. The SDM was well accepted in the community, especially among those who did not wish to use any other method. Many were first time contraceptive users. Acceptance and continuation were higher in villages where men were counseled. Community volunteers proved competent to provide SDM counseling. Results suggest that offering the SDM may contribute to efforts to reduce unmet need in India.