Researchers from the Botswana Ministry of Health and the Department of Health Studies at the University of South Africa recently published results of a study of young women's knowledge and attitudes about the internal/female condom. They also investigated contraceptive use inclusive of all methods, as well as barriers to uptake of the female/internal condom. Researchers analyzed self-administered survey responses completed in 2015 by 95 women at three health center sites in Jwaneng. The abstract follows below and full text is available online at Curationis.
Mokgetse M, Ramukumba MM. Female condom acceptability and use amongst young women in Botswana. Curationis. 2018 Sep; 41(1):e1-e6. doi: 10.4102/curationis.v4lil.1887.
BACKGROUND: The female condoms are a barrier method of contraception. The FC1 female condom is made from soft thin plastic called polyurethane and has been replaced by FC2 female condom, which is made of synthetic latex. The female condom is worn inside the vagina and acts as a barrier to prevent semen getting to the womb. It is about 75% - 82% effective with normal use. When used correctly all of the time, female condoms are 95% effective. Despite evidence of its effectiveness, the use of the female condom has continued to face resistance from both women and men.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to determine clients' level of knowledge of female condom, identify predominant methods of contraception, examine young women's views regarding the female condom and identify barriers to the use of female condoms by young women.
METHODS: A simple random sampling approach was used to recruit young women between 15 and 34 years in Jwaneng, Botswana. Data were collected using self-administered structured questionnaire from women accessing healthcare services in the three health facilities in 2015. Descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis and the chi-square test techniques were applied using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) statistical programme version 23 for Windows to analyse data.
RESULTS: The findings based on factor loadings show low utilisation of the female condom and highlights the significant challenges about the material, size, shape and timing of insertion. Respondents had stronger views on the structure of the condom. There was no significant relationship between attitude and method of contraception.
CONCLUSION: Acceptability of the female condom involves complex factors such as women position and decision-making power in a relationship, attitude and knowledge. Attitude, knowledge and power relations play a role in the extent to which women would want to try or use it. Various strategies need to be developed to effectively promote the female condom amongst young women.
KEYWORDS: Acceptability; Botswana; HIV/AIDS prevention; female condom; young women