Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2013 Dec;39(4):185-94. doi: 10.1363/3918513.

Understanding couples' relationship quality and contraceptive use in Kumasi, Ghana.

Author information

  • 1Research Scientist, Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA,



A wealth of data exist on knowledge, attitudes and practice related to contraceptive use; however, emotional aspects of relationships that may influence reproductive decision making are often overlooked.


Data from the 2010 Family Health and Wealth Survey were used in bivariate and multinomial logistic regression analyses to identify associations between relationship quality and current contraceptive use among 698 married or cohabiting couples in Kumasi, Ghana. Four scales measuring commitment, trust, constructive communication and destructive communication, as well as a question about relationship satisfaction, were the indicators of relationship quality. Current contraceptive use was divided into three categories: no use, reliance on a method that can be used without the partner's awareness (the injectable, pill, IUD, implant and diaphragm) and use of a method that both partners are typically aware of (periodic abstinence, withdrawal, condoms and spermicide).


Overall contraceptive use was low--22% of women said they were currently using any method. In general, respondents reported high levels of relationship quality. Women's relationship satisfaction scores were positively associated with use of awareness methods rather than nonuse (relative risk ratio, 1.2). Men's trust scores were positively associated with use of nonawareness methods rather than nonuse (1.1), and men's constructive communication scores were associated with use of both types of method rather than nonuse (1.1 for each).


Couples' relationship quality appears to be an important element in their decision making regarding contraceptive use, and should be taken into consideration in the design and implementation of family planning programs and policy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for The Alan Guttmacher Institute
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk