International Journal of Medicine and Public Health,2015,5,1,98-101.
Background: A woman’s contraceptive use is largely influenced by the dictates of her religious faith. Acceptance of family planning methods is usually found to be poor among Muslims. This study assesses how acceptance of contraception and contraceptive choices varies across various religious groups. Objectives: (1) To determine the prevalence of contraceptive use among various religious groups. (2) To study the contraceptive use pattern among different religious groups. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted among ever-married women (15-49 years) residing in the field practice areas of Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. The study was a community-based cross-sectional study. Current use and ever-use of contraceptives were assessed among women from various religious groups. The contraceptive choice among current users from different religious groups was studied in relation to use of spacing and terminal methods. Results: Current use of family planning methods was similar for Hindus (43.1%) and Muslims (44.1%). However, ever-use of contraception was found to be more among Muslims (72%) than Hindus (50.6%). Spacing methods were more popular among Muslim couples (84.3%) compared to Hindus (71.7%), whereas larger number of Hindu couples preferred terminal methods (28.3%) compared to Muslims (15.7%). Conclusions: Religion does play a role in the adoption of family planning and the specific method adopted for contraception.