Background: Expanding access to long acting and permanent contraceptive methods has multiple benefits. They give women greater choice in selecting a contraceptive that meets their needs for delaying, spacing, or limiting pregnancy. They have the highest continuation rates of all family planning methods, and are more effective in actual use than short-acting methods for preventing unintended or closely spaced pregnancy. The study assessed the contraceptive knowledge, choice and switching pattern of married women in Agarfa District, Oromia, 2014.
Method: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted in Agarfa district. A total of 788 married women aged 15-49 years were involved in the survey. They were selected through systematic random sampling technique. The data were collected by using structured interviewer administered questionnaire, and analyzed by using SPSS version 21.
Result: The most ever known (98.5%) and ever used (81.5%) type of modern contraceptive was Depo-provera. Permanent methods were rarely recognized as contraceptive method. Three forth (75.9%) of the participants were on modern contraceptive during the interview time. Twenty nine percent of those who want to limit their birth were not taking any modern contraceptive (MC). Nearly half (45%) of the participants stated fear of side effect was their main reason for non use of MC. Thirty percent (29.4%) of the participants had history of method shift from one MC to other MC method. The highest shift was observed from pill to depo-provera (49.1%), followed by depo-provera to implants (26.7%).
Conclusion: Women’s awareness and choice of contraceptives is limited to short acting methods. There is perceived fear of side effects of modern contraceptive. Women desiring no more children were not using any method. Therefore, strengthening the FP counseling to address fears of side effects and increase client awareness of expected and unexpected side-effects of all methods is essential.