Objective To determine positive and negative attitudes of married Turkish women and men regarding the use of oral contraceptives (OCs).
Methods Twenty focus group discussions were conducted during the period October 1998-March 1999 in Umraniye, which is one of the densely populated districts of Istanbul.
Results Most of the negative attitudes relating to OCs stemmed from concerns over side effects, particularly in the male focus groups. Health care professionals' behaviour, lack of concern or bias, and their reluctance to prescribe also limited the uptake of OCs. The female groups had very positive attitudes towards OCs compared to those of the male groups. It was identified that although OCs are largely provided free of charge in Turkey, beliefs and attitudes towards them are the important factors which affect the uptake of the method.
Conclusion Special efforts may be needed to educate these groups and also to teach the health professionals about family planning counselling.
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