Bring men to the table: To evaluate knowledge about contraceptive methods, contraceptive behaviour and the desired role of young men in decisions regarding contraception within a relationship – a pilot study
ESC Congress Library. Felder S. May 4, 2016; 126887; A-061 Disclosure(s): ESC Grant
Dr. Stephanie Felder
Dr. Stephanie Felder
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Abstract
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Background

In Switzerland little is known about the role of young men and their knowledge regarding decisions about contraception.

Even though contraception is well established in Switzerland and the abortion rate is very low (2014: 6.3 abortions per 1000 women between 15 and 44 years) sexual education of young men might contribute to further improvements. In our pilot study we aimed to evaluate male student’s knowledge about, attitude towards and willingness to contribute to contraception within a relationship to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

 

Methods

A link to an anonymous questionnaire was sent via email to 1500 randomly chosen male students of the University of Zurich, excluding students of medicine, biology and biochemistry to avoid preconditions. The questionnaire comprised 37 questions about contraceptive methods, behaviour, experience, decision making and sexual experience. Within four weeks 192 complete forms were returned. The study was supported by an ESC grant.

 

Results

Many students (60%) are in a steady relationship, 68% used a contraceptive method when last having intercourse.

89% had used a condom at least ones in a relationshiop and 51% during the most recent intercourse. For 50% Vasectomy is not an option for later life. More than 90% of the students have knowledge about: combined pill, condom, vasectomy and emergency contraception. Less known methods <55% are the progestin-only methods pill, injection and implant. 98% are aware of the condom as the method protecting from STD. The combined pill is considered unhealthy by 37% and possibly affecting the libido by 40% . High efficacy, no negative impact on libido and future fertility and good tolerability are the most important features expected of a contraceptive method (>70%).  Regarding an unexpected pregnancy 94% of the men would want to be informed and 74% would support an abortion, regardless of their own feelings. In case of an unintended pregnancy 50% would appreciate optional counselling for males.

Conclusion

Our pilot study showed that even highly educated men with knowledge of most contraceptive methods have negative preconceptions about the effect of the contraceptive pill on health and libido. These beliefs might have a negative effect on long-term use. Although not being considered as a method affecting health, Vasectomy was only considered as an option for later life by 50%. Regarding unplanned pregnancy the majority wish involvement and many would appreciate a counselling service for males. Sexual education of young males still needs improvement.

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