Factors associated with use of the female condom in Zimbabwe (PDF)
International Family Planning Perspectives 31(1): 30-37
Publication date: 2005
Because women can initiate use of the female condom, the method is believed to make it easier for women to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV infection. Evidence is lacking about factors associated with trying the female condom and using it consistently.
A sample of 1,740 sexually active consumers visiting retail outlets in urban Zimbabwe that sell male or female condoms were surveyed in 1998, one year after a social marketing campaign had begun. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess factors associated with ever-use of the female condom and consistent use (always or often) with marital and regular nonmarital partners.
Perceived ease of use and affordability of the product and prior use of the male condom were associated with men's and women's ever-use. Consistent use with marital partners was negatively associated with reporting multiple partners in the past year (odds ratio, 0.3) and positively associated with using the device for pregnancy prevention (5.4) and previously using the male condom (8.0). Consistent use with regular nonmarital partners was associated with numerous variables, including perceived ease of use (1.9) and effectiveness for STI prevention (3.8), low HIV risk perception (2.4), and use for pregnancy (2.9) and STI (2.3) prevention.
Perceived affordability and ease of use may encourage couples to try the female condom but may not lead to consistent use. Because the reasons for use can vary between marital and nonmarital relationships, the female condom may need to be positioned differently for different target populations.