Women’s Social Networks, Communication and Contraceptive Use in Rural Nicaragua

Anisha Gandhi, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Manali Nekkanti, San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Little is known about the relationship between women’s social networks and contraceptive use patterns in Latin America. 170 women in randomly selected communities in rural Nicaragua participated in a 2010 health survey in which they also provided detailed information about their social networks. Sixty-nine percent of women identified at least one person they had talked to about contraception. The number of contraceptive methods known was significantly associated with contraceptive use and exchange of information about contraception within women’s social networks. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, women's current use of a modern contraceptive method was marginally associated with having at least one contact who they perceived to be using contraception, or at least one contact with whom they had talked about contraception. The impact of communication about contraception with social contacts appeared to be amplified when those contacts were thought to provide reliable health information.

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Presented in Poster Session 1