Gahungu J(1), Vahdaninia M(2), Regmi PR(3). Author information:
(1)Martin Luther King University, Bujumbura, Burundi. [Email]
(2)Peninsula Medical School, Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth,
(3)Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth
Gateway Building, 10 St Paul's Ln, BH8 8AJ, Bournemouth, UK.
BACKGROUND: Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest fertility rate in the world, with the highest unmet need for family planning (FP). Yet, there is a lack of knowledge about the determinants for non-utilisation of modern contraceptive methods among women of reproductive age. This systematic review of literature assessed factors affecting the unmet need and reasons for non-utilisation of modern contraceptive methods during the postpartum period in Sub-Saharan African women. METHODS: An online literature search was conducted in several databases: MEDLINE, Cochrane Review, PubMed, Elsevier's Science Direct and Web of Science. The search was completed by hand searching. Data were extracted and summarised using the Arksey and O'Malley methodology. RESULTS: In total, 19 studies were included; one qualitative study, seventeen quantitative, and one used a mixed-methods approach. Studies were conducted in Ethiopia (n = 11), Nigeria (n = 3), Kenya (n = 2), Malawi (n = 2) and Uganda (n = 1). Factors affecting the unmet need for modern contraceptive methods were described at three levels: (a) individual; (b) household; and (c) healthcare facility level. Reasons for non-use of FP included: fear of side effects; husband's disapproval; the absence of menses; abstinence; and low perception of risk of pregnancy. CONCLUSION: Unmet needs in postpartum FP in women from Sub-Saharan Africa were associated with health-system and socio-demographic determinants. We suggest that there is a need to improve the awareness of modern contraceptive methods through effective interventions. Further research is needed for under-studied countries in this continent.
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