Use of Emergency Oral Contraception Among Females in a Tertiary Institution
The reproductive health challenge of young female undergraduates in Nigerian universities which are high incidence of sexual activity, poor contraception use, unintended pregnancies and induced abortion calls for emergency contraception(EC) as a second chance approach to reduce the rate of incidence of unintended pregnancy and induced abortions to the barest minimum. A survey of382 randomly selected female undergraduates of Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu state, Nigeria was conducted over a two month period to assess the sexual behaviour of the students and evaluate the knowledge, practice and perception of emergency contraception. A total of 77(20.2%) of the respondents had an adequate knowledge ofEC despite the high rate of awareness (53.7%). Only 18.5% of the .r,espondents who knew about the emergency contraception pills identified the correct timing of administration. The level of knowledge of emergency contraception was poor among the younger students and the catholic students . The use of emergency contraception was reported by only 10.7% of the respondents. A total of 110(28.8%) of the total respondents had unprotected sexual intercourse in the past 6-12 months and 73(66.4%) of these respondents did not use emergency contraception. Most respondents cited friends (52.1%) as their main sources of knowledge followed by mass media (TV) (22.5%), while 15.2% and 9.8% of the respondents knew about EC through Doctors and other health care workers respectively. Misconceptions on the knowledge of forms of emergency contraception, denominational background, perceived risk of future infertility and inaccessibility of the emergency contraception services were the reasons for non-use of emergency contraception. In order to reduce the gap between practice of unprotected sex and utilization of emergency contraception among female undergraduates, it is essential to properly disseminate reliable contraception information as well as make EC pills more accessible to these students.