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Correspondence: Dr Mustafa Afifi, email@example.com
Introduction This study aims to assess the potential for the lactational amenorrhoea method (LAM) and passive LAM among women with children below six months of age, and to examine its association with women empowerment in household decisions.
Methods Data from the Egypt Demographic Health Survey 2000 was downloaded from the Demographic and Health Surveys website. A sub-sample of women fulfilling all four criteria were selected: (1) women whose last birth of children was less than three years ago; (2) currently married; (3) not sterilised; and (4) currently breastfeeding their children. Accordingly, only 3,447 women entered into the statistical analysis, of whom 1,141 had children below six months of age.
Results Passive LAM users constituted 82 percent of the women who met LAM criteria, 57.1 percent of exclusive breastfeeding mothers, and 32.9 percent of all nursing mothers of children below six months of age. 11.8 percent of women who met the LAM criteria were under double coverage of family planning methods. In the logistic regression model where all variables were adjusted, women empowerment in household decisions, significantly and independently, inversely predicted passive LAM along with increase in child age (Odds-ratio [OR] of 0.86 and 0.43, respectively). Women with higher birth order children were more likely to use passive LAM (OR 1.11).
Conclusion Women of low empowerment index in household decisions were more likely to use passive LAM. Passive LAM users could be subjected to discontinuation or double coverage of contraceptives.
Keywords: contraceptives, family planning, lactational amenorrhoea method, passive lactational amenorrhoea method, women empowerment
Singapore Med J 2007; 48(8): 758–762