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Continuing use of a traditional method (withdrawal) in a high contraceptive prevalence country, Iran: correlates and consequences

Amir-Houshang Mehryar, Ministry of Science, Research & Technology
Bahram Delavar, Ministry of Science, Iran.

Established in 1989, FP program of Iran has taken great strides in raising contraceptive prevalence and reducing fertility. Latest surveys (2002) indicate a mean contraceptive prevalence rate of 74+ and a TFR of about 2.1 for the country as a whole. Despite the explicit promotion and ready availability of modern methods, however, a quarter of all couples continue to rely on the traditional method of withdrawal. This paper reviews the latest data on the extent of use of withdrawal by Iranian couples and identifies major social and demographic characteristics of women relying on this method. Women using the traditional method are more likely to be urban, come from the better-developed provinces, and have higher levels of education. Provinces with higher rates of withdrawal use have lower fertility rates and the contribution of withdrawal use to unintended pregnancies is not markedly different from that of modern methods like pill or condom.

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Presented in Session 124: Reproductive health (2)