Sexual and Contraceptive Practices among Female Undergraduates in a Nigerian Tertiary Institution
BACKGROUND: The reproductive health of adolescents and young women is integral to the wellbeing of a society. This study was carried out to determine current sexual practices and contraceptive usage among female undergraduate students in a Southwest Nigerian tertiary institution.
METHODS: It was a cross-sectional questionnaire based survey of female university undergraduates. Pre-tested questionnaire was used to elicit information on socio-demographic variables and sexual and contraceptive practices. Frequency tables were generated and univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to determine factors that influenced sexual and contraceptive practices. SPSS software version 16.0 was used for analysis.
RESULTS: Of 350 students sampled, 306 completed the questionnaire. One hundred and eighty six (60.8%) students were currently sexually active. The mean age of sexual debut was 19.11 years. Sixty-six (35.5%) had more than one sexual partners. Contraceptive knowledge was 100%, but consistent use was 34.4%. A third of the respondents had sex for material rewards and/or under the influence of alcohol and recreational drugs. Students who were less than 20 years old (Adjusted OR: 3.52; 95%CI=2.10-6.82) were more likely to be sexually active while those from polygamous/separated families (Adjusted OR: 0.32; 95% CI=0.18-0.58) were less likely to be sexually active.
CONCLUSION: There is a high level of sexual activity and low contraceptive use among female undergraduate students in Southwest Nigeria. More reproductive health education and promotion is necessary to safeguard their sexual health.
KEYWORDS: sexual behaviour, contraception, female undergraduates, Nigeria