International Journal of Medicine and Public Health,2012,2,4,27.
Background and Aim: Few studies in India have tried to examine the role of female literacy on contraception usage. This study aimed to determine family planning related knowledge and practices and their association with female literacy. Materials and methods: Facility based cross-sectional study was done among married women aged 15–45 years attending outpatient department of three primary health centres in rural Tamilnadu. Data were collected using pretested semistructured questionnaire by a convenience sampling technique. To assess family planning related knowledge, a composite score was calculated and final score was categorised into satisfactory and unsatisfactory. Results: A total of 100 women participated. Fifty nine percent had satisfactory Family Planning related Knowledge and practices (FPK). Contraception prevalence rate for modern methods was 60%. Eighty percent had ever undergone abortions and among them, one fifth had undergone uncertified abortions.With increase in the literacy status, proportion having satisfactory family planning related knowledge increased (p < 0.001) and the parity decreased (p < 0.001). More literate women were using contraception, had undergone sterilization, had undergone certified abortions and had less male child preference compared to illiterate women. Conclusion: This study offers evidence that promotion of female literacy could be considered a strategy for promoting contraceptive usage and addressing population growth in India.