In spite of a number of communication campaigns since 1999 promoting modern contraceptives in Albania, their use remains low. In this paper we identify and analyse key barriers to the use of modern contraception among women in Albania. Semi-structured interviews with 11 stakeholders from organisations involved in promoting modern contraception, and four focus group discussions with 40 women from Tirana and a rural village in the periphery of Tirana, divided according to age and residence, were also conducted. Content analysis was used to analyse both the interviews and focus group discussions. Barriers identified included socio-cultural issues such as status of the relationship with partners and the importance of virginity, problems talking about sexual issues and contraception being taboo, health care issues--especially cost and availability--and individual issues such as unfavourable social attitudes towards contraceptives and a lack of knowledge about the use and benefits of modern contraception. To promote contraceptive use in the future, campaigns should address these barriers and expand from a focus on women of reproductive age only to target youth, men, health care providers, parents and schoolteachers as well.
Reproductive Health Matters, 2012, Vol 20, Issue 40, p. 158-65