Talking sex on the factory floor in China

May 30, 2007

Young, single women in urban China are aware of contraceptive methods but some may be too shy to ask for them, research published in the online open access journal BMC Health Services Research reveals. Young women want more information, but need private and anonymous family planning because of judgemental attitudes surrounding premarital sex and particularly premarital pregnancy.

Encouraging contraceptive use among young migrant workers in China to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is no easy task, according to the study by Xu Qian and other researchers from Fudan University, Shanghai, China and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK. Prompted by their research published in 2004, which showed a high percentage of urban women had experienced abortion prior to marriage, Xu Qian's team targeted young female workers (aged 16-30) at a Shanghai mobile phone factory. They offered lectures, information leaflets and a free workplace contraceptive service led by the factory's doctors, who received extra training.

The family planning information leaflets proved popular, but very few women (5%) used the factory's free family planning service. While 100% of participants attended the first of two lectures on reproductive physiology and barrier methods, just over half made it to the second on oral and emergency contraceptives and preventing sexually transmitted infections. The women voiced concerns about using a workplace service where privacy was compromised, and using a service without paying for it. Overriding concerns were discomfort or embarrassment and being judged by others.

The data collected in this study questions the assumption from previous research in China that young people lack knowledge and awareness of effective contraception methods. The baseline data on attitudes indicated a perceived need for contraceptive use in unmarried youth; around 90% of women in both groups said contraceptive use was necessary in premarital sex. Privacy, anonymity and appropriate services for the young migrant workers may be more important in determining use of contraceptives in this population.

In the urban migrant populations in Shanghai about half of unmarried women have been pregnant, with 40% choosing not to attend legal clinics for safe abortion. China's National Family Planning Program currently targets only married couples and in privately owned factories, family planning services are limited. The researchers suggest most young women glean information on reproductive health from magazines and the radio.

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: IPM's dapivirine vaginal ring now under review by European Medicines Agency

Related Stories

IPM's dapivirine vaginal ring now under review by European Medicines Agency

July 13, 2017
The nonprofit International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) is pleased to announce that its application for the monthly dapivirine vaginal ring, designed to reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection via vaginal intercourse in ...

How bills to replace Obamacare would especially harm women

June 30, 2017
As members of Congress are heading back to their districts over Fourth of July break, the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), America's health care system and millions of Americans continues to hang in the balance.

A better way to estimate Australia's future lifestyle-related cancers

July 11, 2017
UNSW's Centre for Big Data Research in Health has a new and improved way to estimate the numbers of cancers that could be avoided if Australians changed their lifestyles.

MTN begins first trial of new dapivirine ring with both anti-HIV drug and contraceptive

May 3, 2017
Researchers hoping for a single product that women could use to protect against both HIV and unintended pregnancy took an important step toward realizing their goal with the start of the first trial of a vaginal ring containing ...

Deadly secret: The illegal abortions killing Myanmar's women

May 2, 2017
Thiri's heart started pounding and her whole body shook after she swallowed the final dose of pills that would end her unwanted pregnancy in a Yangon hotel.

Folk contraceptives lead researchers to drugs that block fertilization

May 15, 2017
Two chemicals found in anti-fertility folk medicines block a key step in fertilization—the meeting of egg and sperm—and may make effective alternatives to today's hormone-based contraceptives, which sometimes cause side ...

Recommended for you

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

Scientists develop new supplement that can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

July 18, 2017
Whey protein supplements aren't just for gym buffs according to new research from McMaster university. When taken on a regular basis, a combination of these and other ingredients in a ready-to-drink formula have been found ...

Study: Eating at 'wrong time' affects body weight, circadian rhythms

July 18, 2017
A new high-precision feeding system for lab mice reinforces the idea that the time of day food is eaten is more critical to weight loss than the amount of calories ingested.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.