Objective: To determine Ugandan women’s perceptions and knowledge of contraception.
Methods: Healthy prepartum women were recruited from a national referral and university teaching hospital to participate in one of five focus group discussions on contraception. Transcripts were translated and coded by two researchers using inductive and deductive methods.
Results: Forty-six women participated in the focus group discussions. The major themes that emerged were around family planning as a method to space pregnancies and manage finances, as well as men’s roles in decision making regarding contraception. Notable among the many incorrect notions about adverse effects of contraception were fears about cancer and infertility.
Conclusion: The results indicate that, among the study group of Ugandan women, decision making regarding family planning involves a complex negotiation among women, partners, and families. Furthermore, pervasive myths may hinder a woman’s ability to choose safe and effective contraception. These findings are useful to healthcare providers and the greater public-health community.