Adolescents' perspective regarding adolescent pregnancy, sexuality and contraception

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Objective: To investigate the attitudes and perceptions of youths regarding adolescent pregnancy, in order to appraise their understanding of sexuality, contraception and why adolescents failed to use contraceptives. Methods: This is a descriptive survey of a group of 163 students in their junior clinical postings in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Benin. The participants completed an anonymous self-administered questionnaire which elicited information on perceptions, attitude, beliefs and their knowledge about adolescent pregnancy, prevention and utilization of contraception. Results: Overall, majority of the participants held a negative attitude about adolescent pregnancy with over 85% regarding it as wrong and considered it to be associated with medical, socio-economic and educational problems. Peer pressure to have sex (71.8%%) had the highest rating on participants perceptions pertaining to the causes of adolescent pregnancy, other items rated were ignorance on basics of sexuality and pregnancy (60.1%) and being forced or coerced/refusal by boys/men to use condoms (52.1%). Condom was reported as the most common method youths/adolescents used in attempting to prevent pregnancy (38.1%), albeit, majority (69.3%) reported poor uptake of contraception by adolescents. Common reasons cited why adolescent/youths do not use contraceptives were: feeling embarrassed or ashamed to use or purchase condom/contraceptives (68.7%) and male partner dislikes for condoms (50.3%). An overwhelming majority (87.1%) of respondents thought that private access to condoms would increase uptake. Conclusions: Although youths have a negative attitude towards adolescent pregnancy, their perception and understanding of sexuality and contraception is poor. Useful strategies for empowering youth and changing perception/behavior should include peer education and access to simple non-judgmental information on family life. Adoption of strategies tailored to our socio-cultural background to make condoms accessible privately may improve uptake and consequently reduce the menace of adolescent pregnancy.




Osaikhuwuomwan, J. A., & Osemwenkha, A. P. (2013). Adolescents’ perspective regarding adolescent pregnancy, sexuality and contraception. Asian Pacific Journal of Reproduction, 2(1), 58–62.

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