Family planning among low-income women in Rio de Janeiro: 1984-1985

Type Journal Article - International Family Planning Perspectives
Title Family planning among low-income women in Rio de Janeiro: 1984-1985
Volume 16
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1990
Page numbers 16-22
A 1984-1985 survey in seven slum communities of Rio de Janeiro found that seven percent of sexually active women aged 15-49 were pregnant, 20 percent had been contraceptively sterilized and five percent were infertile. The remaining 68 percent were fecund: Some 42 percent were using a reversible method of birth control, and 27 percent were not pregnant or trying to become pregnant and were not using any contraceptive method. The pill and female sterilization were the two leading birth control methods among currently married women practicing contraception, used by 53 percent and 33 percent, respectively. The relatively high levels of sterilization and pill use among low-income women found in the survey are striking. However, knowledge of and access to other methods are limited, and consequently, some women were found to be using inappropriate methods. For example, 15 percent of sterilized women said they wanted to have another child. In addition, the survey found that 43 percent of current pill users also smoked, and five percent were both older than 45 and cigarette smokers. Fifty percent of the pill users reported that they suffered from such contraindications to pill use as high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, kidney disorders or varicose veins. Only 42 percent had seen a doctor before using oral contraceptives, which are available without a prescription.

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