Factors influencing contraceptive utilization among female students in Eldoret National polytechnic in Uasin Gishu County Kenya
Background: Young women in institutions of higher learning may be away from home the very first time. Peer pressure and less parental control may lead them to experiment sexually. Contraceptive non-use is likely to result in unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases with dire consequences. Contraceptives are effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies and some sexually transmitted diseases.
Objective: The main objective of the study was to assess socio-demographic factors influencing utilization of contraceptives among female students of Eldoret National Polytechnic, Eldoret (ENP) in Kenya.
Methods: The study design was a cross-sectional one in form of self-administered closed ended and open-ended questionnaires. Study population was only female students of ENP, aged between 18 and 35 years. Stratified random sampling was applied to the selected sample of 326 from the study population of 2171. Stratification was females per their year of study. Simple random sampling was then applied to each stratum (females per year of study). Three consecutive days in a week were selected to administer questionnaires each day for each year of study.
Results: Respondents who were single reported using more contraceptives (86.4%) than those married or cohabiting at 8.1% and 8.5% respectively. A majority of Protestant respondents (67.2%) reported using contraceptives as opposed to Catholic and Muslim respondents at 30.3% and 2.5% respectively. Second year respondents reported using contraceptives more (48.0%) than first year and third year respondents at 27.8% and 24.2% respectably. Respondents who do not have any children are using more contraceptives (86.9%) than those who have at least one child at 13.1%. Conclusion: Socio-demographic factors influencing utilization of modern contraceptive services included peer influence, religion, previous sexual practices, health provider attitude, awareness and availability. Other factors include age, marital status, number of children, year of study, place of residence and level of sexual activity.
Recommendation: The study recommended an enhanced multispectral approach to sex education in tertiary institution and even secondary schools to ensure correct and timely dissemination of information on sexuality and contraceptives use.