Reasons for Oral Contraceptive Discontinuation in a Rivers State Hospital, Nigeria

  • E.I. Nonye-Enyidah
  • F. Horsfall
Keywords: Oral contraceptive pills, uptake rate, side effects, discontinuation rate, RSUTH


Unintended pregnancies with associated unwanted consequences may result from discontinuation of oral contraceptive method. An understanding of the causes of discontinuation will help in proffering necessary solution. To determine the prevalence rate, side effects, discontinuation rate, reasons for discontinuation of oral contraceptive pills (OCP) at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH). A retrospective study in which records of acceptors of oral contraceptive pills in the family planning unit of RSUTH from 1st January, 2015 to 31st December, 2019 were reviewed. The collated data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) IBM version 25.0 (Armonk, NY). Of 874 acceptors of contraceptives within the study period, 53 clients accepted and used oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) giving a prevalence rate of 6.1%. The modal age group was 25-29 years accounting for 21 (39.6%). Age range was 19-41 years and the modal parity was para 1. All the clients had formal education, 45 (84.9%) were married, and 32 (60.4%) were multipara. The discontinuation rate was 20.8% and the reasons for discontinuation were pill burden 3 (5.7%). Others which include bloating, headache, rashes and weight gain contributed 2 (3.8%) each. Forty two (79.2%) clients did not have any complaints. There was no unintended pregnancy recorded among the study group. The prevalence and discontinuation rates of OCP were low. Pill burden was the commonest side effect and reason for discontinuation of this safe and effective method of contraception.

Key words: Oral contraceptive pills, uptake rate, side effects, discontinuation rate, RSUTH.


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eISSN: 1597-7889