Knowledge and Previous Contraceptive Use by Pregnant Teenagers in Ilorin, Nigeria
AbstractContext: Teenage pregnancy is a major health and social problem the world over and its incidence is on the increase. One important contributory factor to the increase is non-use of contraception.
Objective: To determine knowledge of and previous contraceptive use by pregnant teenagers in Ilorin, Nigeria.
Subjects and Methods: Between 1st January and 30th June, 1999, 326 consecutive pregnant teenagers that booked for antenatal care at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria were interviewed with the aid of a pre-tested questionnaire administered by resident doctors. Information obtained included demographic characteristics, knowledge of and previous use of contraception.
Results: Respondents displayed a high level of contraceptive knowledge, as 277 (91.7%) were aware of it. The condom and the combined oral pill were the two contraceptive methods most commonly known, by 254 (85.5%) and 225 (78.8%) of the respondents respectively. Only 53 (16.3%) had previously used any contraceptive method. The combined oral pill was the commonest method ever used by the respondents 29 (54.7%). Friends were the most common source of information about contraception in 135 (45.5%). None of the respondents used any contraceptive method prior to or during their first sexual experience. Fear of side effects was the commonest reason for non-use of contraception.
Conclusion: Pregnant teenagers are quite knowledgeable about contraceptive method but are poor users. Family life education, including contraception should be provided for teenagers and incorporated into the curricula of schools and colleges. Clinics where comprehensive reproductive health services are provided for teenagers should also be established.
(Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology: 2001, 18(2): 73-77)
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