Patient Prefer Adherence. 2015 May 25;9:707-14.

Contraceptive prevalence and preference in a cohort of south-east Nigerian women

Egede JO, Onoh RC, Umeora OU, Iyoke CA, Dimejesi IB and Lawani LO


Background: Rates of fertility, population growth, and maternal deaths in Nigeria are among the highest in the world, with an estimated 4% of all births being unwanted and 7% mistimed. These are caused mainly by nonuse, inappropriate choice, and difficulty in accessing contraceptive commodities. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and factors influencing the choice and sources of contraceptive options among market women in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Methods: This was a questionnaire-based, cross-sectional, descriptive study involving 330 market women of reproductive age in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. A survey was carried out to identify their knowledge, use, and sources of contraception and the factors that influence their contraceptive practices.

Results: Knowledge of contraception was high (275 [83.3%]), and 229 (69.4%) of the study population approved of contraceptive use. However, only 93 (28.3%) of the respondents were currently using any form of contraception. Fifty-four women (16.3%) were using modern methods. The commonly used forms of modern contraception were the barrier method (male condoms, 27 [8.2%]), the oral contraceptive pill (10 [3.0%]), injectables (8 [2.5%]), and the intrauterine contraceptive device (7 [2.0%]). The most common source of contraceptive products was patent medicine dealers (58 [51%]). The main barriers to use of contraception were desire for more children (86 [26.1%]), religious prohibition (62 [18.8%]), spousal disapproval (32 [9.7%]), and the perceived side effects of modern contraceptives (25 [7.6%]). There was a significant association for approval of contraception when the model was adjusted for religion (odds ratio [OR] 0.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.18-0.84; P=0.02); educational status (OR 2.84, 95% CI 0.96-8.40; P=0.04); parity (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.09-2.85; P=0.03); and social class (OR 2.54, 95% CI 1.26-5.11; P=0.01).

Conclusions: There is good knowledge about contraception among Nigerian women, but use of these products is low. The main barriers to use of contraception are the desire for more children, religious prohibition, and spousal disapproval.

Comment: It is important to realize the different barriers that may exist for contraceptive use. Different populations will have different barriers, with different priorities. Health workers must be aware of the barriers in their area, before talking to users. (HMV)