Journal Article

Contraceptive method choice among women in slum and non-slum communities in Nairobi, Kenya

Background
Understanding women’s contraceptive method choices is key to enhancing family planning services provision and programming. Currently however, very little research has addressed inter and intra-regional disparities in women’s contraceptive method choice. Using data from slum and non-slum contexts in Nairobi, Kenya, the current study investigates the prevalence of and factors associated with contraceptive method choice among women.

Methods
Data were from a cross-sectional quantitative study conducted among a random sample of 1,873 women (aged 15–49 years) in two non-slum and two slum settlement areas in Nairobi, Kenya. The study locations were purposively sampled by virtue of being part of the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to explore the association between the outcome variable, contraceptive method choice, and explanatory variables.

Results
The prevalence of contraceptive method choice was relatively similar across slum and non-slum settlements. 34.3 % of women in slum communities and 28.1 % of women in non-slum communities reported using short-term methods. Slightly more women living in the non-slum settlements reported use of long-term methods, 9.2 %, compared to 3.6 % in slum communities. Older women were less likely to use short-term methods than their younger counterparts but more likely to use long-term methods. Currently married women were more likely than never married women to use short-term and long-term methods. Compared to those with no children, women with three or more children were more likely to report using long term methods. Women working outside the home or those in formal employment also used modern methods of contraception more than those in self-employment or unemployed.

Conclusion
Use of short-term and long-term methods is generally low among women living in slum and non-slum contexts in Nairobi. Investments in increasing women’s access to various contraceptive options are urgently needed to help increase contraceptive prevalence rate. Thus, interventions that focus on more disadvantaged segments of the population will accelerate contraceptive uptake and improve maternal and child health in Kenya.