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Research Article

Vol. 18 No. 1 (2020)

Perceived reproductive health needs among Muslim women in the southern US

June 29, 2020


Despite growing rates of Muslims in the United States, we know little about the health of Muslim women in this country. Due to the stigma surrounding sex, sexuality, and the cultural beliefs of this population, there may be unique and unknown challenges regarding access to reproductive health care for Muslims in the US. Purpose: This study aims to examine variables that promote and impede access to reproductive health care for Muslim women in the southern US. Methods: This multi-method study included in-person semi-structured interviews (n=15) and an anonymous online survey (n=76). Findings: Participants generally had low rates of gynecological care and cervical cancer screening. The cultural (e.g. waiting for marriage to receive gynecological care) and contextual aspects (e.g. gender) that increased or restricted access to care in terms of screening, providers and education are discussed. We also identified some misconceptions related to screening and contraception. Conclusions: Influences on reproductive health care experienced by participants in this study have similarities yet are distinct from Muslim populations in other countries as well as other groups of women in the US. This study points to a need for more population-focused education of providers, as well as awareness about reproductive health and health care recommendations and access for Muslim women.


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