Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Family Planning Options in Armenia

Summer 2019

Lara Rostomian : Integrative Biology

Donor: Pergo Fund
Mentor: Anke Hemmerling

When looking into the topic of family planning in Armenia, I was disappointed to see the limited and outdated literature available. This data, nearly two decades old, indicated high abortion rates coupled with low modern contraceptive prevalence. Making this discovery ignited my interest in conducting survey-based research to assess Armenian women’s knowledge and attitudes towards modern contraception; explore the barriers these women face in seeking contraception; and ultimately uncover why women in Armenia seem to use abortion as their main method of family planning. Studying women’s sexual and reproductive health in Armenia is important because social stigma surrounding this issue may not only hinder women from gaining access to modern contraception, but also to education regarding their options. Additionally, recognizing that the existing peer-reviewed literature has not been recently amended or expanded, I will be analyzing how and if women’s attitudes have shifted in the past 20 years, specifically following Armenia’s social and political revolution of 2018.

I would like to thank the Pergo Foundation whose funding helped realize this research project. I am eternally grateful to have had this opportunity to conduct independent research as an undergraduate and count myself very lucky to have had the guidance and support of the Pergo Foundation, SURF, and my mentors along the way. This experience gave me the chance to explore aspects of independent research that I otherwise would not have been able to experience as an undergraduate. It has given me the confidence to proudly identity as a researcher. I am thankful to have embarked on this journey so early into my research career and am hopeful to continue conduct similar Global Health research in understudied areas of the world such as Armenia.