The misinformation about contraceptive methods: A qualitative study in Istanbul

The misinformation about contraceptive methods: A qualitative

study in Istanbul 

S. Hidiroglu, M. Solakoglu Ucar, A. Topuzoglu, P. Ay, O.O.

Kose, D. Save 

Marmara University Medical Faculty Department of Public Health,

Istanbul, Turkey 

Objective The objective of this qualitative study was to asses

the knowledge and beliefs of women about the advantages and the disadvantages of

contraceptive methods.

Design and method Six focus group discussions were

conducted in suburban neighborhood of Umraniye, Istanbul. The study group was

composed of married women with a low educational background who had migrated to

Istanbul from the rural parts of the country. A semi-structured interview guide

was developed and used. 

Results The women were able to state the disadvantages

most effectively only for the methods of they were mostly familiar with. There

was a lot of misinformation which had originated from the experiences of other

women in their social environment. Some of this misinformation was originated

from the rumors and women were not absolutely sure of its correctness. “I

heard that an IUD was attached to the baby, it (IUD) was found somewhere on the

baby, I was scared, I had an ultrasound, they said that it (my IUD) was in

place, still I was scared so I wanted it to be taken out” 

Some women

believed that after using contraceptive methods for some time, the possibility

for a new pregnancy would decrease. This was associated with the opinion that

“the ovaries would get lazy while using a contraceptive method”. 


of the women stated the disadvantages of the contraceptives as:”Hair grow,

weight gain, the risk of getting pregnant is high with OCs….If you forget the

pill, then the risk (of getting pregnant) is high. I do not know because I do

not use them. Spiral (IUD) makes infections, so we are anxious, I was afraid for

these reasons”Although the women usually were not aware of the protective

effects of contraceptives they identified the protective effect of condom

against sexually transmitted diseases.”That preservative, God forbid,

protects against HIV, hepatitis B, from the women’s diseases” 


There was also a lot of misinformation about the disadvantages for nearly all

the methods. Conversely the advantages of the methods were not recognized except

for condom use. Although counseling services are provided for a considerable

period of time, the women lacked adequate knowledge concerning the contraceptive

methods. Peer education might be the appropriate method to improve contraceptive


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