Emergency Contraceptive Knowledge And Practice Among Unmarried Women In Enugu, Southeast Nigeria.
With a high incidence of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion especially among unmarriedwomen in developing countries, there is need to promote emergency contraception (EC). To assess the unmarriedwomen\'s knowledge, attitude and practice ofEC. A random sample of a cross-section of 594 unmarried women in Enugu, southeast Nigeria, was surveyedwith questionnaire between January andApril 2004. Of the 1,160 unmarried women interviewed initially, 51% had heard of EC. One hundred (16.9%) knew the correct meaning of EC and these were mainly those with higher educational qualification, previous unwanted pregnancy, or had used modern contraception (p<0.05). Other respondents mentioned vaginal douching, application of traditional remedies to the vagina as effective emergency contraceptives. Although sixty percent (n=354) of respondents had used regularmodern contraception, only 20% (n=119) had ever used EC. Fewrespondents knewcorrectly how EC function and the recommended timeframe for use. The twomost common sources of information about EC were mass media (49.2%) and friends (28.8%). Seventy three percent (n=87) of emergency contraceptive users had some difficulties obtaining EC due to non-availability (n=42), attitude of health service providers to unmarried women demanding contraception (n=28) and cost (n=17). The attitude of the health service providers may have accounted for the dearth of information on EC even among users. Sixty-seven percent of respondents favored the use of EC by unmarriedwomen.Opposition to the use of ECby unmarriedwomen is because of belief that it has some health effect (n=72), induces abortion (n=80) and for religious reasons (n=42). Provision of appropriate information and access to EC, better service providers\' attitude towards unmarriedwomen is advocated.
Keywords: keyEmergencyContraception,Unmarried Women,Enugu,Nigeria.
Nigerian Jouranl of Clinical Practice Vol. 11 (4) 2008: pp. 296-299