Factors Influencing Contraceptive Use Among Myanmar Migrant Women In Bangkok, Thailand: A Community-based Survey

Shwe Sabai Thein, Bang-on Thepthien, Seo Ah Hong


Objectives: Nowadays, more people are moving residence permanently or temporarily, and international migration is one of the dominant issues globally. During migration, the individuals may experience poverty and unavailability of health care services -- especially for women – and that leads to unmet need for reproductive health and inadequate access to contraception which increases risk of unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion. This study explored the level of contraceptive use and associated factors among Myanmar migrant women in Bangkok.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted during March to April, 2018, 314 women were selected by snowball sampling and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used for data analysis.

Results: The prevalence of contraceptive use among women who were living with their husband/partner was 77.1%; oral pills and injection were the most common methods. The sample’s median age was 30 years (QD = 4.5 years), half of the respondents were ethnic Burmese (51.9%), and were covered by health insurance (47.5%). Only one-fourth of the women (25.5%) could communicate well in Thai. Predictors of contraceptive use include being younger than 25 years (AOR=9.6; 95% CI=3.07–31.59), having more than one child (AOR=8.5; 95% CI=2.72-26.37), having a supportive husband and friends, neighbors (AOR=4.9; 95% CI=2.43-10.26, AOR=4.2; 95% CI=1.96-8.89) having easy access to contraception (AOR=3.2; 95% CI=1.50–6.780) and being able to access contraception at local health outlets (AOR=12.9; 95% CI=4.01-41.93).

Conclusion: The study suggests that provision of community and workplace education, health care services and initiation of help-lines in the Burmese language may increase visibility of reproductive health services and bridge the gap between the foreign migrants and the Thai public health system. Active male involvement in their partner’s reproductive health is an important source of support.

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