Contraceptive use and associated factors among sexually active female adolescents in Atwima Kwanwoma District, Ashanti region-Ghana
Introduction: unintended pregnancies and adolescent childbearing are on the increase in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Ghana, 14% of adolescents aged 15-19 are already mothers or pregnant with their first child. Most of these pregnancies are associated with poor outcomes such as miscarriages, stillbirths, unsafe abortions and other complications that might result in infant or mortality. In addition, sexually-active adolescents (16-19 years) are at higher risk of contracting STIs. Evidence suggest that contraceptive use help reduce fertility rate and adolescent reproductive health. This study therefore sought to understand the magnitude and associated factors that influence female adolescents' use of contraceptive in the Atwima Kwanwoma District, Ghana.
Methods: a descriptive and analytic cross-sectional study design was used for this study. Using a structured questionnaire, data were collected from randomly sampled 200 sexually active female adolescents; aged 16-19 for a three month period; June to September 2017. The questionnaire elicited data on the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents, their knowledge and perception, use of contraceptives and factors influencing their contraceptive use. Data were analyzed using STATA version 12.1 software.
Results: ninety-five percent of the respondents exhibited some knowledge about contraceptives, but this high knowledge did not translate into its use as the prevalence rate was 18%. Condom was the most widely used contraceptive (33%) and perceived side effects of contraceptives was found to be the main reason for not using the contraceptives (53.66%). Marital status and the participants who were staying with both parents were found to be associated with contraceptive use with their p-values of 0.023 and 0.002 respectively.
Conclusion: considering the fact that contraceptive knowledge does not necessarily translate into use, further studies (qualitative), are needed to understand why high knowledge levels are not associated with high usage patterns.