Awareness and utilization of emergency contraception among female undergraduates in a Nigerian University

  • Bilkisu Isa
  • Sanusi M. Ibrahim
  • A.A. Kullima
  • Babagana Bako
Keywords: Awareness, emergency contraception, Nigeria, University of Maiduguri, utilization


Background: Many women are not aware of emergency contraception, which limits its use. Because increased risk of unwanted pregnancy and subsequent unsafe abortion have been well‑documented, research on the knowledge and usage of emergency contraception is appropriate.

Materials and Methods: The present study was a descriptive cross‑sectional study conducted among 450 female undergraduate students of a University in northeast Nigeria from November to December 2014.

Results: The age range of the respondents was 19–30 years, with a mean age of 21.4 ± 2.1 years. Most of them, 308 (68.4), were between the ages of 20 and 24 years. Majority of the students, 321 (71.3%), were single. Overall, 295 (65.5%) students were aware of emergency contraception, and 211 (71.5%) had utilized them. Among those who had utilized them, 174 (82.4%) were singles. The most common source of initial information about emergency contraception was health personnel, 148 (50.1%), followed by friends, 107 (36.3%). School, 11 (3.7%), and parents, 4 (1.4%), were the least utilized sources of information. Information from health personnel, news media and schools were the major influences of emergency contraceptive utilization. Levonorgestrel only pills (Postinor‑2R) and combined pills (Yuzpe) were the most commonly utilized emergency contraception by 91 (43.1%) and 85 (40.3%) of the respondents, respectively.

Conclusion: There was good level of awareness and utilization of emergency contraception among female undergraduates. However, there is a need to educate the parents, students and staff or counselors at the family clinic section of the university health clinic on its importance to improve the awareness of the students.

Keywords: Awareness; emergency contraception; Nigeria; University of Maiduguri; utilization


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0189-5117