What's Love got to do with It?: Relationship quality and contraceptive behavior among married couples in Kumasi, Ghana
Since the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, researchers in the field of reproductive health have been incorporating men and couples into their research studies. Despite this increased interest in men and couples, marital relationship quality remains a highly understudied issue in the field of sexual and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa. It is likely that marital relationship quality influences a woman's decision-making process, especially on sensitive issues such as the initiation and continuation of contraception. Understanding how Ghanaian women negotiate, access and execute sexual and reproductive health decision-making is essential. For this study, an in-depth exploration of the conceptualization of high quality marital relationships will be conducted among women in a peri-urban community outside of Kumasi, Ghana. Furthermore, the impact that marital relationship quality has on women's contraceptive decision-making will be investigated. Twenty-four in-depth interviews and twelve focus group discussions will be carried out with women in monogamous and polygamous marital unions. Understanding couple dynamics in the context of sexual and reproductive health will help to improve the success of programmatic efforts in these areas.