|Journal Article - International Family Planning Perspectives
|Why Nigerian adolescents seek abortion rather than contraception: evidence from focus-group discussions
Context:Nigerian adolescents generally have low levels of contraceptive use, but their reliance on unsafe abortion is high, and results in many abortion-related complications. To determine why, it is important to investigate adolescents' perceptions concerning the risks of contraceptive use versus those of induced abortion.
Methods: Data were collected through focus-group discussions held with adolescents of diverse educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. All were asked what they knew about abortion and contraception, and each method of contraception was discussed in detail. In particular, youths were asked about contraceptive availability, perceived advantages of method use, side effects and young people's reasons for using or not using contraceptives.
Results: Fear of future infertility was an overriding factor in adolescents' decisions to rely on induced abortion rather than contraception. Many focus-group participants perceived the adverse effects of modern contraceptives on fertility to be continuous and prolonged, while they saw abortion as an immediate solution to an unplanned pregnancy—and, therefore, one that would have a limited negative impact on future fertility. This appears to be the major reason why adolescents prefer to seek induced abortion rather than practice effective contraception.
Conclusions: The need to educate adolescents about the mechanism of action of contraceptive agents and about their side effects in relation to unsafe abortion is paramount if contraceptive use is to be improved among Nigerian adolescents
|Nigeria - Demographic and Health Survey 1990, Nigeria