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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


OSIS, Maria José Duarte et al. Choice of contraceptive methods by women attending a public health clinic. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.20, n.6, pp.1586-1594. ISSN 1678-4464.

This paper presents the perceptions of 250 women who requested contraceptive methods (CM) at a public health clinic in relation to their freedom of choice and the role of an educational activity and consultation in this degree of freedom. Satisfaction with the chosen method and continuation after 6 months were also studied. Nearly all the women (99.6%) had already chosen a CM when they came to the clinic, and 90.0% left the clinic with the method; 81.9% reported that they felt very free to choose the method, and 60.0% felt that the educational activity and consultation had improved their degree of freedom. Six months later, 87.3% were using the same CM they had chosen. The proportion of women who changed the method and the proportion of those who felt they had not received sufficient information about the CM when they initiated use were significantly higher among women who reported any dissatisfaction with that method. The educational activity and consultation legitimated the women's choices (which they had already made before attending the health clinic) on the basis of such supplementary sources of information. This fact appears to have contributed to the women's feeling that they had sufficient freedom of choice.

Keywords : Contraception; Family Planning; Health Services.

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