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Know about strings as a method of family planning

Codes and Frequencies

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FPKNOSTR indicates whether the woman knew about strings as a method for family planning. The string method is a string worn around the woman's waist that is believed to prevent pregnancy. Some samples differentiate between spontaneous and probed affirmative responses; see Comparability.


Along with slight differences in question wording, FPKNOSTR differs in the degree of detail in the affirmative response codes.

In most samples, the woman is first asked an open-ended question to list known methods of contraception, and then is probed with descriptions of the methods not spontaneously mentioned. Other samples use only yes/no questions describing each contraceptive method. Because not all samples distinguish between spontaneous and probed affirmative responses, IPUMS-DHS uses composite coding, with all affirmative responses sharing a first digit of "1," and with the second digit distinguishing between "yes, spontaneously" (code "11") and "yes, probed" (code "12").

Some samples did not specifically ask about strings, but respondents could volunteer this method when asked about "any other methods."

Comparability - Standard DHS

Starting in Phase IV, the response set reduced to two response categories ("yes" and "no"), eliminating the distinction between spontaneous and probed affirmative responses. In Phase VI forward, only the probing question is provided in the survey form, and the open-ended question is dropped.

Although questions on whether the woman knew of a given contraceptive method are included in the standard DHS questionnaire for Phase I forward, FPKNOSTR is a country-specific response category not included in any phase of the standard DHS questionnaire.


  • Malawi 1992: All women age 15-49.
  • Malawi 2000: All women age 15-49.
  • Malawi: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 2000-B, 2000-W, 2000-C