Knowledge and beliefs about the use/abuse of oral contraceptive pills among males: A mixed-method explanatory sequential study in community pharmacy settings

Muna Barakat, Raja'a Al-Qudah, Amal Akour, Mona Abu-Asal, Samar Thiab, Yahya H Dallal Bashi

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Abstract

Background:
Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are considered one of the most important birth control methods globally. However, these pills were designed for female administration rather than males. This study was designed to investigate patterns of OCPs use and abuse among Jordanian males, according to the community pharmacists’ observations.

Method:
A mixed-method explanatory sequential study was conducted using an online self-administered survey, followed by semi-structured in-depth interviews for registered pharmacists, assistant pharmacists and pharmacy interns. The interviews were utilized using a conceptual framework. Inductive thematic analysis and descriptive/regression analyses were completed using Nvivo and SPSS, respectively.

Results:
A total of 158 questionnaire responses and 22 interviews were included in our analysis. Around half (48.4%) of the questionnaire responses confirmed that males could use OCPs for hair growth enhancement, muscle gain and acne treatment 12.7%, 31.7% and 4.4%, respectively. Through the interviews, the participating pharmacists highlighted that males use OCPs mostly for bodybuilding purposes, according to recommendations by their coaches at the gym. The most abused OCPs containing estrogen (Ethinyl estradiol) and progestins (Drospirenone or Levonorgestrel).

Conclusion:
This study provided insight into unexpected uses of OCPs by males in Jordan. Community pharmacists have a crucial role in the management of OCPs use and abuse. However, restricted regulations and monitoring must be released and implemented on the community to limit such practices
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0251302
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07 May 2021

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