Contraceptive practices in Nigeria: Literature review and recommendation for future policy decisions
Emmanuel Monjok1, Andrea Smesny1, John E Ekabua2, E James Essien1
1Institute of Community Health, University of Houston, Texas, USA; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Calabar, Nigeria
Abstract: The current prevalence rate for contraceptive use in Nigeria is approximately 11%–13%. This rate is very low in spite of the high rate of sexual activity and widespread awareness of the various contraceptive methods among Nigerian adolescence and youths. As a result there are many unintended pregnancies and illegal abortions contributing to a high maternal mortality ratio, which seems to indicate a large unmet need for contraceptive use. There is ample research evidence identifying the various factors that contribute to the low prevalence of modern contraceptive use in Nigeria, with the most common factor being the myth about the side effects of modern contraceptives. However, what is lacking is a political will in Nigeria to provide family planning programs on a much larger scale, using community-oriented approaches and communication programs, to help change the myth about the side effects of modern contraceptives. This review highlights current methods and concepts in contraception, reasons for low contraceptive use and practice in Nigeria, and the need for Nigeria to generate a political priority and a will to make a change in maternal health indicators, with the ultimate goal of providing direction to guide changes in the Nigerian Population Policy as it affects contraceptive use and family planning.
Keywords: contraceptive practice, literature review, research, Nigeria
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