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Family Planning in Romania: A Cross-sectional Study of Knowledge, Practice and Attitudes

Background: Prior to 1990 voluntary abortion and sale of modern contraceptives was prohibited in Romania. Family planning in Romania has enjoyed a positive evolution, but some problems persist.

Objectives: This study proposes to determine the knowledge and practices regarding family planning (FP) methods, the situation of pregnancies planning, communication within couples about FP and the impact of socio-demographic variables on these issues in Romania.

Method: Between 2011 and 2012, 863 subjects, 18-49 years old, from urban and rural environment, responded to a questionnaire with 96 items on family-related topics. To achieve the objectives of this study we focused on five items. The Pearson chi-square tests were employed using the statistical programs SPSS.

Results: Subjects became parents for the first time at an average age of 24.81. 34.76% had a second or third child. 84.81% of the couples were married when the children were born. 12% became parents between the ages of 15-19, with a larger share in rural areas and a low educational level (p<0.0001). 70.5% used methods of contraception, the most popular being male condoms, withdrawal, the oral contraceptive pill, and calendar rhythm. More than ½ planned their pregnancy, with the average dropping at second and third birth, and over ¾ of the partners discussed FP; this was lower in rural areas, for those with a low educational level (p<0.001).

Conclusion: There will never be sufficient funds to cover the needs of the educational and health care systems. Consequently, the efforts must target the population at risk for unwanted pregnancies, such as those in the rural area, those with lower educational levels, and those with poor income. Schools, families, City Halls, medical centers, the church, etc. can have a positive effect, with concurrent activities, on both children and parents in terms of participation in education.

Author(s): Cornelia Rada

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