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Table 2 Perceived risks and side-effects of contraceptives reported by youth and parents

From: Youth accessing reproductive health services in Malawi: drivers, barriers, and suggestions from the perspectives of youth and parents

Method Male youth Female youth Parents/guardians
Male condoms • If expired can cause infections • Oils/lubricants cause stomach pains • Cause cancer and sores on penis
• Lubricants cause cancer and sores on penis   
• Worms in the packaging   
• Cause illness   
Oral contraceptive pills • Cause permanent sterility • Pills clog up and accumulate in abdomen • Weaken sperm cells
• Weaken the man’s libido • Cause illness • Pills clog up and accumulate in abdomen
  • Ruin the inside of a person, harms the uterus  
• Cause illness and death   
• Stops egg production permanently   
• Make the woman unattractive   
• Encourage promiscuity   
• Men think women are less satisfying sexually   
• Cause continuous menstruation in women   
Depo-Provera (injectable) • Cause permanent sterility • Cause permanent sterility • Cause permanent sterility
• Damage the ovaries and destroys egg cells • Pain in the heart, arms, and legs • Weaken the man’s libido
• Weaken the man’s libido • Cause illness • Stomach pains
• Prevent women from getting cancer • Weaken the man’s libido • Skin glows and women look healthy
• Cause illness   
• Cause sperm accumulation in women’s body   
• Women are not as ‘sweet’ sexually   
• Women get enlarged breasts   
Implants • Cause permanent sterility • Cause permanent sterility  
• Move around body and cause illness • Cause birth of twins after discontinuation  
• Damage nerves and blood vessels • Damage reproductive organs  
• Cause uterine cancer • Heart and body pains  
• Continuous menstruation in women • Close the birth canal  
IUDs • Cause permanent sterility • Cause illness  
• Cause birth complications   
• Can cause death