Sexuality and Contraceptive needs of women have been long kept in dark in the Indian scenario. Minimal attempts have been made to explore on such needs among women with severe and persisting mental illnesses despite the evidences showing that women with mental illnesses also have reproductive and sexual needs. The present study assessed the knowledge, attitude and practices with respect to contraception among women with severe and persisting mental illness (SPMI) and compared them to those with medical illness. The study sample consisted of 200 subjects: 100 subjects with severe and persisting mental illness and 100 subjects with medical illness. Data was collected using a validated semi-structured proforma developed for the purpose. The overall analysis revealed that 94.0% of the study subjects had a history of unprotected sexual intercourse. Only 62.8% of them had the knowledge of being exposed to the risks of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Knowledge about safety and effectiveness of contraceptive methods was significantly lower in the psychiatry group compared to the medical group.
Contraception, Severe, Persisting, Mental illness, Medical illness, Women.