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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 261-268

Men's involvement in women's reproductive health: A community-based mixed-method study

1 Associate Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 Senior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India
3 Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Lalithambigai Chellamuthu
Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry - 607 402
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_1376_20

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Background: Female dominion in family planning has underestimated men's participation in female reproductive health. Objective: To assess male's involvement in female reproductive health with regard to safe motherhood and family planning and to explore the factors influencing the participation of males in reproductive and sexual health. Methods: A community-based, mixed-method study was conducted from May 2018 to January 2019 in urban Puducherry. All eligible couples with at least one child were included. Two-stage random sampling with a sample size of 373 was considered. Data were collected separately among spouses using epi-collect 5 and analyzed using the SPSS software version 23. Qualitative data were obtained using free-listing and pile-sorting techniques, analyzed in Anthropac software. Results: 39.9% had planned their pregnancy. Only 33.5% of couples had decided together with the place of delivery. 76.7% of wives wish to involve their husbands in family planning. 88.2% of wives and 89.8% of husbands chose tubectomy as the preferred method of permanent contraception. Both husband and wife were involved in child rearing among 60.3% of participants. The changing dynamics of society, health-care provider initiative, and literacy level favored males' involvement in females' reproductive health. Conclusion: Men were involved in planning the pregnancy, supporting their spouse by accompanying for antenatal checkups, discussing with their partners about the complications faced during pregnancy. Health care facility-related factors and faith were perceived as hindering factors for males' involvement in reproductive health by either gender.

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