oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Male fertility regulation: a study on acceptance among men in Zimbabwe

Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Both traditional and modern methods of family planning widely practised currently in most countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, focus solely on the woman. There is hardly data on male directed methods of fertility regulation, or indeed whether, or not, such contraceptive options are acceptable. Contraception, whether for spacing, avoiding unintended pregnancy or limiting family size, is almost always a female prerogative. This, in certain circumstances, is despite the available female method being contraindicated. Acceptance of male sterilisation (vasectomy), condom use and male contraceptive pill were investigated in a representative sample of 711 Zimbabwean men. Only 14 pc of men considered vasectomy an acceptable method of contraception and none of the men had current or previous use of this method. Seventeen percent of the men had prompted knowledge of this method, compared to 53 pc who had prompted knowledge of female sterilisation.Only six percent of respondents reported current use of condoms and amongst condom non-users, 58,9 pc would not use the method if asked by a wife or partner. Surprisingly, 31,7 pc of the male respondents reported that they would consider a male contraceptive pill or injection if available. Should husband want no more children, 42,2 pc of men said they would agree to wife sterilisation and 19,5 pc could consider vasectomy. Previous use of condoms was reported by 33,8 pc of the men. Eighty eight (88 pc) percent of respondents had some formal education, although acceptance rates decreased with less education and older ages. Circumstances during which a male method could be considered, reasons and socio-economic determinants for acceptance of male fertility regulatory methods are discussed. Results indicate that more education and promotional information on methods available to men should be made available.

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