As more Nigerian women embrace contraceptives, our intern, David Arome explores the key issues
Simply put, contraceptive pills and injection forms of contraceptives are short-term acting reversible contraceptives methods used among sexually active people in Nigeria to prevent unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion.
Injection and pills contraceptives are the most widely used contraceptives in Nigeria and this is because they are readily available and as such, they have become contraceptive methods of choice for women of reproductive age.
Data obtained from the 2015 report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), indicates that contraceptive use among sexually active women of child bearing age have increased slightly compared to 2014 report. In 2014, it was recorded that 23 percent of sexually active women used contraceptives, while 30% used in 2015, the Bureau’s latest data showed.
Contraceptive use and choice vary widely in Nigeria according to the type of health facility, geographical zone with urban and rural settings.
Various identified factors related to both supply and demand account for these variations and contribute to the choices in Nigeria.
On the supply side are issues such as limited availability, quality and the cost of family planning services, household poverty, low level of education, myth and rumors about modern contraceptives.
More so, the use of contraceptives can be shaped by several factors including cultural norms and values, as well as the desires and decision of couples. Myths and misconceptions are also involved in addition to beliefs that people who use contraceptives end up with health problems or permanent infertility or at some extreme that contraceptive reduce sexual urge and to other may increase promiscuity among women. Other contributing factors include low access to health care facilities, patriarchal nature of societies.
While the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey, 2013 revealed that 23 per cent of teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are either pregnant with their first child or are already mothers, while half of the women between the ages of 25 to 49 years married between 18 to 20 years; the observation that there is an increasing demand among individuals for birth control pills or contraceptive technique to reduce unintended pregnancies, indicate that actions being taken so far in the space are providing desired results and encouraging more Nigerian women to embrace child birth spacing.