Family planning is an integral component of maternal and child health services in Ghana. Although knowledge on contraception is universal and most women attend maternal and child health services, contraceptive use remains low among women after delivery. This study aimed to determine factors influencing current use and future contraceptive intentions of women who were attending child welfare clinics within 2 years of delivery in Sunyani Municipality, Ghana.
We conducted an analytical cross-sectional study among mothers in six selected health care facilities. Data was collected on their socio-demographic characteristics, reproductive and contraceptive experiences and future contraceptive intentions. Categorical variables were compared using the chi-squared (χ2) test. Factors associated with current use and future contraceptive intentions were determined using Poisson regression with a robust error variance to estimate crude and adjusted relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). P < 0.1 was considered statistically significant.
A total of 590 women were recruited into the study. Overall, 50.2% of the women were using contraception, 30.7% modern and 19.5% traditional methods. Compared to previous use, more women were using and would prefer the more effective contraceptive methods in future. Significant factors associated with current contraceptive use were, level of education (p = 0.02), discussing family planning during antenatal care (adjusted RR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.07-1.53), or with one’s partner (adjusted RR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.01-1.47) and previous contraceptive use (adjusted RR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.56-2.33). Family planning discussions during child welfare clinic (adjusted RR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.99-1.26) or with one’s spouse (adjusted RR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.08-1.34), desire to space children (adjusted RR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.17-1.55), previous (adjusted RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.05-1.27) and current (adjusted RR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.01-1.22) contraceptive use were predictive of clients’ intention to adopt family planning in the future.
Effective counselling on family planning during antenatal and child welfare clinics, and encouraging spousal communication on contraception are likely to increase contraceptive use after delivery.