Knowledge, Practice and Perception of Contraception by Literate Adolescents in Calabar, Nigeria (Published)
The current prevalence rate for contraceptive use in Nigeria is approximately 11%–13%. This rate is very low in view of the fact that sexual activity is high and there is also widespread awareness of the various contraceptive methods among Nigerian adolescents and youths. There is sufficient research evidence identifying the various factors that contribute to the low prevalence of modern contraceptive use in Nigeria, with the most common factors being religious adherence and myths about the side effects of modern contraceptives. This survey aims to ascertain the knowledge, practice and perception of contraception among literate adolescents in Calabar. This was a self-administered questionnaire -based study carried out in Calabar metropolis. The information was obtained at three different higher institutions in Calabar. Information collected include age, knowledge and use of contraceptives, source of information, and awareness of other methods of contraception and myths about contraception. A total of 1,596 female adolescents were recruited into this study. Their age range was 16 to 19years, with a mean age of 17.6years. The respondents have all attained basic secondary education and were all currently pursuing tertiary education and have all had sexual intercourse and have heard about contraception or family planning. Of this number, 968(60.7%) have used Emergency contraceptive pills, 26.6% used male condom, 6.1% use CopperT (CuT), 1.9% use injectables, 1.1% use implants while 3.6% have not used any method. They all however had one form of concern or the other about modern contraceptive methods. Adolescents and youths are undoubtedly the bedrock to propagate any programme irrespective of the field. Adolescents are therefore in dire need of information on reproductive health issues not only on contraception but also on other issues concerning their reproductive health. They should be assisted and given unhindered access to various methods of contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion.