Background to the Study
Contraception or Birth control generally refers to any plan or method used to alter or avoid the body’s natural state of fertility, thereby preventing or reducing the probability of pregnancy without abstaining from sexual intercourse; the term is also sometimes used to include abortion and natural family planning. Contraception aims to prevent sexual intercourse from causing pregnancy.
World Health Organization Report (2010) on the statistics of contraceptive prevalence in 53 African countries, shows that Nigeria has 14.1% contraceptive prevalence rate, unlike other African countries like Mauritius with 75.8%, Morocco 63.0%, Algeria 61.4%, Cape Verde 61.3%, Egypt 60.3%, South Africa 60.3%, Tunisia 60.2%, Zimbabwe 60.2%, Namibia and Swaziland with 55.1% and 50.6% respectively. The concern here is that since the MDG were set in 2000, there have been steps deliberately taken by Nigerian government to reduce incidences of unwanted pregnancies, particularly among the youth. Promotion of contraceptive practices has also intensified yet with 14.1% contraceptive prevalence in Nigeria, it shows low usage of contraceptives among the youth necessitating enquiring into factors that could explain the trend.
According to Indongo (2007), one of the major factors is that youth often lack basic reproductive information on the consequences of sexual intercourse. In addition to the above mentioned information, youth also lack skills in negotiating sexual relationship, and knowledge about affordable confidential reproductive health services. Again many do not feel comfortable discussing sexual issues with parents or other key
adults with whom they can talk about their reproductive health concerns. Likewise, parents, healthcare workers, and educators frequently are unwilling or unable to provide complete and accurate age-appropriate reproductive health information to young people. This is often due to discomfort in discussing the subject or the false belief that providing the information will encourage increased sexual activity. This is because most youth enter into sexual relationships with very little knowledge on the consequences. The little knowledge they have is either got from their peers or from the media
The question then is why teenage pregnancy and premarital childbirth is on the increase in Nigeria despite efforts made by both private and public agencies in providing adolescents’-friendly centers in public and private hospitals where contraceptive services could be accessed. This study is therefore designed to study the knowledge of contraception and use of contraceptives among sexually active female undergraduates of the faculty of basic medicine Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma Edo state.
Statement of the Problem
The inadequate contraceptive coverage is multifaceted social, ethical, and cost issues are focused on the consequence of unintended pregnancy; long-term consequences of unintended pregnancy are far reaching. For example, teenage pregnancy, out-of-wedlock birth, welfare dependency, child abuse, domestic violence, and abortion are some of the major social ramifications of unintended pregnancy (Judith and George, 2010). Research in Latin America has also shown that a relatively high proportion of teenagers are exposed to the risk of pregnancy (WHO, 2001). In Africa, studies have demonstrated that a large proportion of young women are exposed to the risk of conception, receive poor or no sex and contraceptive education and experience a high incidence of adolescent child birth (Muhwava, 1998; Burgard, 2004).
The Nigerian situation is similar to that prevailing in developing societies in Africa and Latin America. Although reports indicate a decline in teenage pregnancy, maternal mortality and morbidity, yet most of the premarital births still occur among young women aged 15-24 years, the majority of whom are neither economically nor emotionally ready to deal with parental responsibilities. Thus, improving reproductive health is keys to improving the situation of youth as well as the world’s future generations (Creel and Perry, 2006).On this background, the researcher therefore wants to evaluate the level of contraceptive knowledge and use of contraceptive methods among female undergraduates in the faculty of basic medicine Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma.
Scope of study
The study is delimited to all female undergraduates in the faculty of basic medical sciences Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Edo state
Objectives of the Study
This research seeks to examine the level of contraceptive knowledge and use of contraceptive methods among female undergraduates in the Faculty of Basic Medical Science, Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma.
- To assess the level of contraceptive knowledge among female undergraduate students in the Faculty of Basic Medical Science
- To find out the source of knowledge among female undergraduate in the Faculty of Basic Medical Science.
- To assess the level of undergraduates’ accessibility to contraceptives
Significance of the Study
The findings from this study will be used to explore other ways of reducing unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The findings from this study is intended to create public awareness on the importance and proper use of contraceptive methods. To create an undergraduates friendly programme in the use of contraceptive, methodsand its accessibility on campus.A study of this nature will serve as a bases for government to formulate policies on sexual and reproductive education.
The following research questions are formulated to guide this study.
- What is the level of contraceptive knowledge among female undergraduates in the faculty of Basic Medical Sciences ?
- What are the sources of knowledge of contraceptive among female undergraduates students of
- Do female undergraduate students use contraceptives ?
Operational definition of terms
For more clarity and consistency of the use of concepts in this study, it is important to give meanings operationally to some of the key terms in this study. This is necessary to avoid conceptual confusion. The terms are as follows:-
Knowledge: what the students know and understand about contraceptives
Use: A function or a purpose for which something may be employed.
Contraception: The act to prevent conception
Females: The sex which produces eggs i.e sex that carries pregnancy
Undergraduate: All female undergraduates within the Faculty of Basic Medical sciences.