Ann Med Health Sci Res 2013 Oct;3(4):541-5. doi: 10.4103/2141-9248.122092.

Knowledge and practice of emergency contraception among female undergraduates in South eastern Nigeria

Ezebialu I and Eke A


Aim: This study was designed to assess the knowledge and practice of emergency contraception among female non-medical undergraduates.

Subjects and methods: In this cross-sectional observational study, 675 female nonmedical undergraduates were interviewed using pretested semistructured questionnaire to assess their knowledge and experience with emergency contraception. Data were analysed using SPSS version 17 (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA). Data were presented as percentages and tables. Associaton between variables was tested using the 2 test.

Results: Only 51.6% (348/675) of the respondents reported knowledge of emergency contraception. Being sexually active, use of regular family planning methods and having an extra risk for unintended pregnancy were factors that significantly influenced knowledge. Only 45.7% (159/348) knew the correct methods (Postinor-2, combined oral contraceptive and intrauterine contraceptive device), 37.9% (132/348) practiced any method with about half of them using the correct methods.

Conclusions: There is poor basic knowledge of emergency contraception among these female undergraduates in south eastern Nigeria. A sizeable number of them depend on unconventional methods for emergency contraception. We recommend the introduction of formal lessons on emergency contraception and other reproductive health issues into the Nigerian undergraduate curriculum.

Comment: It is clear that there is often a lack of basic knowledge among girls, not only about the possibilities of emergency contraception, but also about more general aspects of reproduction. When school curricula include sex education, emergency contraception should be part of that. (Hans Vemer)