Exploring the Contraceptive Use Histories and Decision-Making Processes of First-Time Parents in Western Tanzania
Understanding why and how first-time parents (FTPs) use family planning is fundamental to designing effective programs that can support young women and men at this time in their reproductive lives. In March 2020, nearly two years after the start of E2A’s FTP intervention in Tanzania, E2A and Pathfinder International, in collaboration with a local research consultant, launched a qualitative study.
The specific study objectives:
- Explore contraceptive histories of FTMs, both new and continuing users, who adopted short-acting family planning methods and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).
- Explore facilitating factors for family planning uptake among FTMs/FTPs who participated in the program.
- Understand decision-making processes regarding family planning use among FTMs/FTPs who participated in the program.
- Understand factors associated with family planning method continuation/discontinuation/switching.
- Understand the role of partners/husbands in the FTMs’ decision-making processes regarding family planning use, including method choice and method continuation/discontinuation/switching.
- Explore FTMs’ experiences accessing family planning methods.
- Understand future contraceptive needs and intentions to use contraception.
Although the study focused on a very specific subset of first-time parents (FTPs)—young FTMs who participated in an FP-focused program specifically designed for FTPs, and who used a modern contraceptive method during the intervention period—their experiences provide important insights into the different factors that shaped their family planning understanding, attitudes, communication, decision making, and action.