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Effectiveness of Contraceptive Counseling on Women Knowledge and Practice in Saudi Arabia

Rana Ahmed Bamufleh, Ahlam Eidah Al-Zahrani, Shadia Abdullah Yousuf

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Background: Contraceptive counseling that emphasises effective and safe contraception plays a significant role in women’s health. It can help women select contraceptive methods appropriate to their health needs. The study of contraceptive counseling has not been adequately explored in Saudi Arabia (SA). This study aimed to evaluate whether contraceptive counseling was effective at improving women’s overall knowledge and use of contraceptive methods at King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH).

Objectives: (1) Assess women’s knowledge of contraceptive methods before and after counseling. (2) Explore which contraceptive methods were used before and after counseling

Methods: This study used quantitative, quasi-experimental design. A questionnaire was administered to women who had delivered and been admitted to the postnatal unit at KAUH. The tools used in this study were a pre-test questionnaire, a counseling evaluation sheet, and a post-test questionnaire. Purposive sampling was undertaken. Ethical approval was granted from KAUH. Data collection was conducted for four months.

Results: A total of 65 women consented to participate in this study. The mean age of the women was 30.1 (SD = 0.77). The majority of women (78%) had poor knowledge scores about contraception before counseling. The most frequently used contraceptive methods before counseling were lactational amenorrhea (breastfeeding), which was used by 60%, followed by withdrawal and minipill, which were each used by 50.8%. Male condom, combined oral contraceptive (COC) pills, fertility awareness and intrauterine devices (IUDs) were used by 46.2%, 43.1%, 27.7% and 18.5% of women, respectively. After counseling, the mean knowledge score increased significantly, from 49.94 to 86.35 points (p < 0.001). After counseling, the actual methods used by study participants were lactational amenorrhea, IUD, COC, minipill, withdrawal, fertility awareness and male condom. The majority of women (91%) were very satisfied with the counseling provided.

Conclusions and recommendations: Contraceptive counseling significantly improves women’s knowledge about and use of birth control methods. As a result, this study recommends sustained efforts to encourage women, their husbands and the community to improve contraceptive knowledge and use. Moreover, healthcare providers, especially nurses, should participate in the education of women.

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