Family planning and Afghan refugee women and men living in Melbourne, Australia: new opportunities and transcultural tensions

Alana Russo, Belinda Lewis, Razia Ali, Atiq Abed, Grant Russell, Stanley Luchters

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This research aimed to explore the family planning perspectives and experiences of Afghan women and men living in Melbourne. A total of 57 Afghan women and men participated in six focus groups and 20 semi-structured interviews. The majority of participants indicated a preference for two or three children and were open to using modern contraception. However, many women described experiencing negative side effects when using hormone-based contraception and expressed difficulty negotiating condom use with their husbands as an alternative. Some women described how these difficulties resulted in inconsistent contraceptive practices and, at times, unintended pregnancy. Participants recognised that health professionals have an important role in addressing their family planning needs. This study highlights the ways in which Afghan women and men are changing in relation to their family planning beliefs and practices, and the opportunities, challenges and transcultural tensions they experience as they navigate these issues in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-953
Number of pages17
JournalCulture, Health & Sexuality
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2020


  • Afghan
  • Australia
  • contraception
  • family planning
  • refugees

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