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Factors Affecting the Choice of Contraceptive Devices Among Women

Factors Affecting the Choice of Contraceptive Devices Among Women of Child Bearing Age (15-49 Years) Attending Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (Fetha I), Ebonyi State.


The study assessed the factors affecting the choice of contraceptive devices by women of child bearing age (15-49 years) attending Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA I) in Ebonyi State. Three objectives guided the study which include: to determine whether these women are aware of the contraceptive devices, to ascertain their most commonly used method of contraception and to identify factors that influence the choice of contraceptive devices by women of child bearing age (15-49 years) attending Federal Teaching hospital, Abakaliki. Related literatures were reviewed and summarized. A descriptive research design was used for the study. The study population comprised 1339 women. 308 women were selected through Yaro Yamane and systematic sampling technique. A self-structured questionnaire validated by the project supervisor is the only instrument used for data collection. Reliability of the instrument was also ensured. Data collected were analyzed with the use of frequency distribution tables and charts. The result of the study showed that a greater percentage (97.7%) said they have heard about contraceptive devices, majority (29.2%) used condom as a contraceptive device, a greater percentage (21.8%) said religion influenced their choice of contraceptive devices including 59.1% who said that their average monthly income affected their choice of contraceptive device. It was then recommended that family planning Providers should be encouraged to update their knowledge from time to time. This could be done by international aid such as pathfinders who can motivate such providers by giving them incentives to improve their services and reduce cost to clients.



Background of the Study

Contraceptive (birth control) is a term that is used to prevent the birth of children or method for regulating fertility. Emeh (2009) defined contraception as the interruption of conception.

Fried & Waynell (2016) defined contraception as various methods used to prevent pregnancy from occurring. There are other terms with similar meanings used to describe contraception such as to space or limit the number of children, so as to ensure health and adequate care of family members, to prevent unplanned pregnancies, control population growth and improve the quality of life in the society. Lerch & Bliss (2011) noted that the issue of preventing conception is not new to individuals as well as societies. The most desirable methods as stated by Connell (2013) should be one that is totally safe and effective, acceptable, easily reversible, simple to administer, inexpensive and one that could be used at a time unrelated to sexual activity. The ideal family planning method is yet to be found and as a result, researchers have developed numerous contraceptive alternatives today than any other time in the past. It is a well known fact that, there is a wide variety of improved methods intended to meet the needs of different ages, socio-economic status, medical and religious backgrounds. Further research into contraceptive technology has led to improved public perception, awareness and knowledge of its effects. Choice in general terms is the act of selecting among alternatives which Hornby (2012) described as to pick out from a number, showing what one wants by taking a decision and desire as a matter of pretence. Adler (2014) claimed that choice is a function of an individual’s perception, value, beliefs, goals and it is related to reasonableness of action. People now have the opportunity to make choices about methods of contraception.

Several other factors have been known to influence the choice of contraceptive methods. Significant others around can influence people’s decision. This is highlighted in the words of Golden (2013) that “we are indoctrinated into our present choices and it is difficult to reach a purely personal decision”. Studies show that most family planning methods have a philosophy behind them. Individuals too have their own philosophies of life. It is the combination of these two philosophies that influence choice of contraceptive methods. Bulatao (2009) reported that the choice of contraceptive methods depends on the individual’s perception, its cost, effectiveness and associated risks. Choice of contraception is also dependent to a large extent on confidentiality and non-judgemental attitudes of the family planning provider. Barnet (2011) stated that the choice of contraceptive methods is affected by the awareness created by the providers. Life stages also affect methods chosen. She maintained that women use contraceptives for different reasons varying from delay in pregnancy to avoiding future pregnancy, age, marital status, desired family size, frequency of sexual intercourse etc. All can influence women’s contraceptive use and choice of methods. Ultimately, the client must choose a contraceptive method that will be acceptable to her particular life situation.

Among the modern methods of contraception available in Nigeria are: the condoms, hormonal methods like pills and the injectable, the rhythm methods like IUCDs and sterilization. It is a known fact that some contraceptive methods involve slight health risks, those risks are very small compared to the risk of dying from pregnancy and child birth related cases especially, seen in multiparous women, (Neonye, 2010).

The success of family planning programme as a means of population control, maternal and child survival strategy and improved family and community health is dependent on awareness which leads to making informed choice of modern contraceptive, (Lewis, 2011). According to Hatcher & Frank (2015), the services of family planning clinics should include the provision of all facts needed to make a sound decision, help clarify alternatives, recognize client’s feeling and facilitate their efforts in arriving at a decision. Thus, in counseling, the family planning provider does not make decisions for her clients, she advises based on the client’s perception, awareness and knowledge about different contraceptive methods. Family planning practices are gaining grounds in Nigeria daily as more women choose from the variety of methods available in spite of this awareness, women who attended Federal Teaching hospital, Abakaliki seems poorly aware. This attracted this study to analyze the factors that affect the choice of contraceptive methods by women of child bearing age (15-49 years) attending Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.

 Statement of the study

The researcher in one of her visits to their family centre noticed that most women of child bearing age (15-49 years) chose different types of contraceptive devices. When asked questions on reasons for their choices, they know little or nothing about these devices. Based on this fact, the researcher wants to study the factors affecting choice of contraceptive devices by women of child bearing age (15-49 years) attending Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.

 Purpose/Objective of the Study

The purpose of this study is to determine the factors affecting choice of contraceptive devices/methods among women of child bearing age (15-49years) attending Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.

The specific objectives of this study are to:

  1. determine whether these women attending antenatal clinic of Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki are aware of contraceptive
  2. ascertain the most commonly used methods of contraception by these women.
  3. identify the factors that influence their choice of contraceptive

 Significance of the Study

The study is of great benefit in the following ways:

  • This study will make nurses and midwives appreciate reasons why women choose different methods of contraceptive device, the most widely utilized methods and factors that affect their choices.
  • Findings from this study will guide the providers in providing adequate health education to women of child bearing age concerning choices of contraceptive device methods.
  • In addition, this study will enrich the general body of knowledge of nursing on available contraceptive programmes and the successful implementation of family planning programmes and the national population’s policy.

 Research Question

The following research questions have been raised with the view to help the researcher determine the factors affecting the choice of contraceptive devices by women of child bearing age (15-49 years) attending Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA I) in Ebonyi State.

  1. Are all women of child bearing age (15-49 years) attending FETHA I aware of contraceptive devices/ methods?
  2. What type of contraceptive devices/methods do the subjects use most?
  3. Which factors influence their choice of contraceptive devices?

 Scope of the Study

This study was carried out in Federal Teaching hospital, Abakaliki. It is delimited to women of child bearing age (15-49years) who attended family planning centre at FETHA I.

 Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined in the context of the study.

  • Factors: these are those variables in the clients such as age, parity, marital status, religion, educational level, level of income, ignorance etc that can influence their choice of contraception negatively or positively.
  • Choice: is an act of selecting between two or more possibilities, e.g use or non-utilization of family planning methods.
  • Contraceptive devices: refers to all known methods of fertility prevention or birth control
  • Women of child bearing age: are women who are in their reproductive age (15-49 years).



This chapter reviewed articles and studies previously documented by different authors within this country and beyond. It contains all aspects of contraceptive device relevant to this particular study which is treated under the following sub-heading:

Nursing project Topics and Materials


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