Perceptions of Intrauterine Devices among Women in Tanzania

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Joyce Ibrahim Muna
Gladys Reuben Mahiti


Background: Intrauterine devices (IUD) are important for ensuring neither unplanned pregnancies, nor unsafe abortions occur as well as it helps spacing children among couples. Despite its advantages, its utilization is still inadequate. The underlying causes of low IUD use needs further exploration for a better understanding as well as appropriate handling of the gaps.
Aim of the study: To explore the perceptions regarding intrauterine devices among women aged 15 to 49 years and barriers to its utilisation in Kinondoni Municipal Council.
Methodology: The study was a community-based exploratory study adopting qualitative approach. Five wards were randomly selected in Kinondoni. Data were collected through in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs). Study participants were purposively sampled for both IDIs and FGDs. Ten (10) women were interviewed in IDIs from all selected wards and Thirteen FGDs were conducted. Thematic analysis was done to analyze qualitative data, into codes, sub-themes, and broader themes. Data analysis was done by using QSR NVivo version 14.
Results: The study involved 10 women aged 15 to 49 years as key informants and 13 FGDs were conducted involving two groups of women of reproductive age, five groups who ever used the method, and six groups who never used it. The study identified perceived barriers towards IUD related to cultural perspectives, negative perception, fear of side effects, individual’s insecurity, perceived benefits related to baby’s health and parental benefits. Challenges identified were lack of proper information that is; misinformation and misguidance from the health workers, and negative influencers which include intimacy and devices’ related factors.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that women have different perceptions regarding utilisation of IUD. Perceptions were categorized into perceived barriers and perceived benefits regarding utilization of IUD. Awareness and knowledge on importance of modern contraceptives (including IUD) should be raised. Also, healthcare workers should ensure enhancement of IUD utilization through teaching the community in a comprehensive manner.

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