Associations of reproductive coercion and intimate partner violence with overt and covert family planning use among married adolescent girls in Niger

Elsevier, EClinicalMedicine, Volume 22, May 2020
Silverman J.G., Challa S., Boyce S.C., Averbach S., Raj A.
Background: In Niger the prevalence of girl child marriage and low female control over family planning (FP) has resulted in the world's highest adolescent fertility. Male control of FP is associated with intimate partner violence (IPV) and reproductive coercion (RC). We assessed associations of IPV and RC with FP use among married adolescent girls (ages 13–19 years) in Dosso, Niger (N = 1072). Methods: Multivariable, cross-sectional regression models assessed associations between physical IPV, sexual IPV, and RC and any FP use, FP use with husband knowledge (overt use), and FP use without husband knowledge (covert use). Findings: One in four married adolescent girls using FP reported doing so without husband's knowledge. Unadjusted and adjusted models indicated that physical IPV and RC were associated with covert FP use (vs. no use and vs. overt use), but not with overt use vs. no use. Only physical IPV remained significantly associated with covert use in models including all three forms of violence (AOR: 1.94 vs. any use; AOR: 3.63 vs. overt use). Interpretation: Married adolescents experiencing physical IPV or RC were more likely that others to use FP without their husbands’ knowledge. No form of GBV affected odds of FP use with husbands’ knowledge. Current results suggest caution regarding promoting engagement of men in decisions to use FP in this context, as this may undermine the reproductive autonomy of girls and women who will choose to use FP without the knowledge of their male partners.