Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Modern contraceptive use among sexually active men in Uganda: does discussion with a health worker matter?

Allen Kabagenyi12*, Patricia Ndugga12, Stephen Ojiambo Wandera12 and Betty Kwagala12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Population Studies, School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

2 Centre for Population and Statistics, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2014, 14:286  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-286

Published: 28 March 2014



Family planning programs have recently undergone a fundamental shift from being focused on women only to focusing on men individually, or on both partners. However, contraceptive use among married men has remained low in most high-fertility countries including Uganda. Men’s role in reproductive decision-making remains an important and neglected part of understanding fertility control both in high-income and low-income countries. This study examines whether discussion of family planning with a health worker is a critical determinant of modern contraceptive use by sexually active men, and men’s reporting of partner contraceptive use.


The study used data from the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey comprising 2,295 men aged 15–54 years. Specifically, analyses are based on 1755 men who were sexually active 12 months prior to the study. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s chi-square test, and logistic regression were used to identify factors that influenced modern contraceptive use among sexually active men in Uganda.


Findings indicated that discussion of family planning with a health worker (OR =1.85; 95% CI: 1.29–2.66), region (OR = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.21–0.77), education (OR =2.13; 95% CI: 1.01–4.47), wealth index: richer (OR = 2.52; 95% CI: 1.58–4.01), richest (OR = 2.47; 95% CI: 1.44–4.22), surviving children (OR = 2.04; 95% CI:1.16–3.59) and fertility preference (OR = 3.50; 95% CI: 1.28–9.61) were most significantly associated with modern contraceptive use among men.


The centrality of the role of discussion with health workers in predicting men’s participation in family planning matters may necessitate creation of opportunities for their further engagement at health facilities as well as community levels. Men’s discussion of family planning with health workers was significantly associated with modern contraceptive use. Thus, creating opportunities through which men interact with health workers, for instance during consultations, may improve contraceptive use among couples.

Male involvement; Family planning; Health worker; Contraception; Discussion; Uganda