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Background: Globally, unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) persist as a significant threat to women’s reproductive health. In Nigeria, despite huge resources committed to family planning programs by stakeholders, contraceptive use has been very low. This study aimed at unraveling the barriers to the use of modern contraceptives among women of reproductive age (15-49 years) in Ise-Ekiti community, Ekiti State, Southwest Nigeria.
Methods: This study was a cross sectional study among women aged 15-49 years. A multi-stage sampling technique was used in the recruitment of respondents from the community. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 15.
Results: Although contraceptive awareness among respondents was high 496(98.6%), only 254 of the 503 respondents were using modern contraceptive methods giving a Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) of 50.5%. Among those not using any form of contraceptives, some identifiable barriers to contraceptive use includes desire for more children, 62(39.5%), partner disapproval, 40(25.5%), and fear of side-effects, 23(14.6%). Factors associated with contraceptive uptake include marital status (p=0.028), educational level (p=0.041) and religion (p=0.043) with traditional worshippers having the least uptake.
Conclusion: This study showed that awareness to modern forms of contraceptives does translate into use. The identified barriers to contraceptive uptake suggest the need to improve uptake of contraceptives through a community-based and culturally acceptable intervention as doing this will go a long way in addressing some of these barriers.
Keywords: Contraceptives uptake, barriers, women of reproductive age