Year : 2017  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-42

Cross sectional study on sexuality and contraceptive use among rural youths in South West, Nigeria

Department of Community Health & Primary Care, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adekemi O Sekoni
Department of Community Health & Primary Care, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi Araba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jomt.jomt_41_16

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Background: The youths in the areas of developing nations such as Nigeria have been found to exhibit varying degrees of vulnerability towards sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Most cases of human immunodeficiency virus infection, other STIs and unintended pregnancy occur through unprotected sex. This study, therefore, sought to determine the risky sexual practices and the use of contraceptives among rural youths in two communities in Southwest Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used; a semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 640 youths (320 in two separate communities) in 2013. Risky sexual behaviour was measured using five items, namely age at first sexual experience, the use of condom at first sexual intercourse, consistent condom use among youths who had sexual intercourse in the 3 months preceding the study, the number of sex partners 3 months preceding the study and the history of transactional sex. Systematic random sampling technique was used to select one respondent per house. Chi-square at P < 0.05 was used to demonstrate the association between categorical variables. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the predictors of risky sexual behaviour and contraceptive use. Results: The mean age was 19.51 ± 2.62 years, whereas the mean age at first sex was 17.33 ± 2.56 years. About 10% of the respondents had engaged in transactional sex. Among respondents who had previously used condom, 31.2% used it at first sexual act, and this was significantly common (P = 0.032) among the males (55.8%) compared to the females (39.7%). About half of the sexually active respondents used condom consistently, and about a quarter (28.6%) had multiple sexual partners. The most popular modern contraceptive methods were male condoms (49.8%) followed by injectables (46.0%) and the pill (30.1%). Male respondents (90.0%) were more likely to know where to procure family planning services (P = 0.001). All sexually active respondents using contraceptives used the male condom, and <5% used hormonal contraceptive namely the pill. Only 22.1% of the sexually active respondents expressed willingness to use contraceptives; within this group, females (29.5%) outscored the males (15.7%) (P = 0.005). More than a quarter (27.9%) reported a past incidence of unintended pregnancy. Conclusion: A high proportion of respondents were observed to engage in risky sexual behaviour. There is an urgent need for community-based sexuality education and contraceptive use to promote behaviour change and a qualitative study to explore reasons why youths are not using contraceptives.

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