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Contraceptive‑seeking Behavior of Women Attending Antenatal Care in a Developing Country: A Veritable Tool for Slowing Population Growth

Ejiro Carol Iwuoha
Evangeline T Oparaocha
Hulda Ijeoma Nwokeukwu


Background: The use of modern contraceptives has been embraced by developed nations as a means of achieving controlled growth rate. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation at 158 million with a growth rate of 2% is expected to grow to 730 million by the end of this century. There is need for regular assessment of the knowledge and practice of contraception among women of childbearing age.

Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the contraceptive‑seeking pattern among women attending antenatal care in an urban city in a developing country and the factors affecting usage.

Subjects and Methods: This was a cross‑sectional study of 430 antenatal women using structured self‑administered questionnaires on randomly selected attendees who consented to participate. Results were analyzed using SPSS Version 16 (Chicago, IL, USA).

Results: Although majority of the women 71.2% (306/430) wished to have between 1 and 4 children, only 20% (87/430) had on their own sought for advice on contraception from a health facility. The percentage of women who had a knowledge of contraception was 61.4% (264/430) with highest source of information from antenatal clinics. Among the women, 41.2% (177/430) have used contraception since getting married; 16.1% (69/430) used natural and withdrawal methods while only 25.1% (108/430) used modern contraceptives. Reasons for nonusage of some modern contraceptives given by 340 women include fear of side effect 53.2% (181/340), objection from partner 7.9% (27/340), conflict with religious beliefs 4.1% (14/340) while 34.4% (117/340) had no reason for not using contraceptive.

Conclusion: Contraceptive‑seeking is low. Programs aimed at encouraging women to deliver in health facilities should be intensified. Health workers should utilize every opportunity to educate on contraceptive choices.

KEY WORDS: Antenatal, contraception, population control Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2320-2041
print ISSN: 2278-960X