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The experience of side effects among users of modern contraceptive methods in southern Ghana

Claire E. Bailey, University of Southampton
Zoe Matthews, University of Southampton

This paper explores the experience of side effects for current users of modern contraceptive methods in Southern Ghana. The data used is from the contraceptive calendar of the Cape Coast Social Learning, Social Influence and Fertility Control Survey. The dataset contains 8937 women months of method use representing 476 individuals. This study uses descriptive statistics to investigate the magnitude, severity and type of side effects experienced. The results show that a total of 605 months of side effects were experienced. The most frequently experienced side effect is irregular cycle which accounts for almost 23% of all months of side effects. Of all the months of side effects 55% are caused by injectables and 33% caused by pill use. The findings suggest that the high level of fear of side effects in this population may reflect a lack of appreciation of the relatively low risk of actually experiencing a side effect.

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Presented in Poster Session 1