Contraceptive use has numerous health benefits such as preventing unplanned pregnancies, ensuring optimum spacing between births, reducing maternal and child mortality, and improving the lives of women and children in general. This study examines the level of contraceptive use, its determinants, reasons for non-use of contraception among women in the reproductive age group (18–49 years) in two southwestern Nigerian states.
The study adopted an interviewer-administered questionnaire to collect data from 809 participants selected using a 3-stage cluster random sampling technique. We also conducted 46 in-depth interviews. In order to investigate the association between the socio-demographic variables and use of contraceptive methods, we estimated the binary logistic regression models.
The findings indicated that knowledge of any methods of contraception was almost universal among the participants. The rates of ever use and current use of contraception was 80 and 66.6%, respectively. However, only 43.9% of the participants had ever used any modern contraceptive methods, considered to be more reliable. The fear of side effects of modern contraceptive methods drove women to rely on less effective traditional methods (withdrawal and rhythm methods). Some women employed crude and unproven contraceptive methods to prevent pregnancies.
Our findings show that the rate of contraceptive use was high in the study setting. However, many women chose less effective traditional contraceptive methods over more effective modern contraceptive methods due to fear of side effects of the latter. Patient education on the various options of modern contraceptives, their side effects and management would be crucial towards expanding the family planning services in the study setting.