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Original Research Articles

Fertility intentions, current practices and associated factors among co-habiting women in a medical officer of health area in the district of Nuwara Eliya

Authors:

Onali B. W. Rajapakshe ,

University of Colombo, LK
About Onali B. W.
Postgraduate Institute of Medicine
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Nirosha Lansakara

Family Health Bureau, Ministry of Health, LK
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Abstract

Background:

Identifying the prevailing intentions and practices related to fertility among females is important in promoting pre-pregnancy care service delivery to eligible families.

Objective:

To describe the fertility intentions regarding conception; awareness and current practices related to pregnancy preparedness; and factors associated with current fertility practices among fertile women in the district of Nuwara Eliya


Methods:

The current study was carried out as a community-based cross-sectional study among 476 cohabiting women in the reproductive age (15-44 years) living in the medical officer of health area, Ambagamuwa. Future and current pregnancy intentions were ascertained. Among the current intenders, their awareness and practices on pre-pregnancy fertility (rubella vaccination, folic acid use, adequate sexual exposure, nutritionally acceptable dietary habits) and factors associated with such practices were assessed. Those not intending a current pregnancy were assessed for family planning practices and associated factors.

Results:

Of the women, 300 (63.0%; 95% CI=58.5, 67.4) wanted a pregnancy. Current intention of child bearing was present among 142 (29.8%; 95% CI=25.8, 34.2) women. The awareness on rubella vaccine was observed to be higher (81.0%) compared to the awareness on healthy dietary habits during pre-pregnancy period (62.0%), on the use of folic acid (51.4%) and adequate level of sexual exposure for pregnancy (43.7%). The prevalence of related practices of vaccination with rubella (75.4%), pre-conceptional use of folic acid (12.7%), adequate sexual exposure for pregnancy (42.2%) and adherence to a healthy diet (21.8%) indicated a gap between awareness and practice. Certain socio-demographic factors were related to poor practices. Among those currently not intending to get
pregnant, 264 (79.0%) were using a contraceptive method.

Conclusions:

The identified modifiable socio-demographic factors should be addressed in planning for improvement in pre-pregnancy care in the local setting.

How to Cite: Rajapakshe, O.B.W. and Lansakara, N., 2018. Fertility intentions, current practices and associated factors among co-habiting women in a medical officer of health area in the district of Nuwara Eliya. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 24(1), pp.12–19. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v24i1.8161
Published on 26 Jun 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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