Motivations and consequences of secret contraceptive use among young married women in Malawi

Benjamin Kaneka, Akim J Mturi


Studies have revealed that there are situations when a married woman would want to use contraceptives, but faces opposition from a partner or family members. Some of these women attest to using contraceptives secretly. The study investigates what motivate young married women to be engaging in secret contraceptive use. It also explores the risks and consequences of that practice in Malawi. The study uses qualitative approach. Thematic content analysis technique was used. The motivations to use contraceptives secretly were mainly driven by external factors and not inherently for the woman to exercise her denied sexual and reproductive rights. These include poverty and a quest to safeguard their marriages from instability and dissolution. The study concludes that involvement and inclusion of marital partners as target groups in the designing of family planning information and service provision is critical in increasing overt contraceptive use among young married women so that there should be no need for secret use.


Secret contraceptive use; Family planning; Young married women; Malawi

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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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