Reasons for low utilization of intrauterine device utilisation amongst short term contraceptive users in Hossana town, Southern Ethiopia: a qualitative study

Demelash Woldeyohannes, Abinet Arega, Lillian Mwanri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are one of the long-acting, safe and effective methods of contraception in women across the world. However, this method is underutilised in many countries, including Ethiopia. Several quantitative studies have been used to address this problem and generated a list of factors associated with this problem. However, this list lacks detailed and local contexts that are necessary to inform local solutions. The current study uses a qualitative method to explore determinants of IUDs underutilization among short term modern contraceptive users from the maternal health services in the study setting. The use of a qualitative study design is necessary to obtain and rich contextual details that can inform the development of locally appropriate strategies to increase the IUDs uptake in the study area and improve women’s reproductive health outcomes. Method: A qualitative study was conducted in Hossana town public health facilities, Southern Ethiopia from November 1–30, 2019. A total of thirteen in-depth interviews were conducted including with: 11 short term contraceptive users, one health centre head and one health extension worker. The interview guide comprised semi-structured questions. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and collected data analysed thematically. Result: The main key determinants of IUDs service underutilisation were identified from participants’ narratives, including: (1) poor knowledge about the benefits of IUDs, (2) insufficient counselling and ineffective delivery of health information to aid women in decision making, (3) the absence of trained health personals, and shortage of supplies. Conclusion: Results indicate that the poor utilisation of IUDs services is determined by both the service provider and the consumer related factors. Poor knowledge of short term users of contraception is a critical factor because without knowledge, clients may not use the available services effectively. The shortage of necessary supplies, poor provider–client relationships, and poor counselling by service providers are also service factors that act as barriers to uptake of IUDs. Efforts should be made to increase IUDs utilization by focusing on educating women about the importance of IUDs, improving counselling of mothers and strengthening the health systems, including allocating more resources to increase access to IUDs among the service users.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalBMC Women's Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Contraceptives
  • Ethiopia
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDS)
  • Qualitative study


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