UJUJU C., ANYANTI J., ADEBAYO S.B., MUHAMMAD F., OLUIGBO O. & GOFWAN A. (2011) Religion, culture and male involvement in the use of the Standard Days Method: evidence from Enugu and Katsina states of Nigeria. International Nursing Review58, 484–490
Aim: This paper presents findings from an exploratory study on the use of the Standard Days Method® (SDM) of family planning (FP) in Katsina and Enugu states of Nigeria.
Background: Potential users of FP often do not use modern methods if its practice is in dissonance with cultural and religious values. Increasing FP options through the introduction of effective natural methods is important, as it will ensure that FP providers, particularly nurses, can provide appropriate non-hormonal methods to women who are interested in their use. This will bring about an increased contraceptive prevalence in countries with strong religious barriers to modern FP methods.
Methods: A qualitative study using focus group discussions and in-depth interviews was conducted with nurses, community FP providers and users of the SDM following the introduction of the method in two Nigerian states.
Discussion: Both users and providers perceive the SDM to be religiously and culturally acceptable. They found it useful particularly among women who could not use hormonal methods for medical reasons.
Conclusion: There was no religious/cultural opposition to the use of SDM. Spousal involvement in use within localities where hormonal methods are not accepted was perceived as an important factor in making the method acceptable. It is imperative to scale up the intervention to other areas both in Nigeria and in other countries that have similar religious and cultural resistance to modern FP methods.