Ajayi Abraham Dare, Grace Daniel O, Andy Emmanuel, Eunice Ari, Folashade Wina

African Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, Vol. 6, Iss. 4, 18 Oct 2012, pp 199 - 204

In developing countries such as Nigeria, traditional contraceptive methods have been in use for many years. Nevertheless, cases of unintended pregnancies, illegal abortions and child abandonment still exist in Nigeria. Therefore, this study was designed to examine the traditional family planning methods used by couples in Kogi State, Nigeria and to identify factors that influenced the use among these couples. Kogi State is in the northern central geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It consists of 21 local government areas (LGAs) of which three were randomly selected to be included in the study. From each of the three LGAs, one urban area and two rural communities were selected for the study. A total of 360 respondents were used for the study. A questionnaire was used to collect the data. The questionnaire was self-administered for literate respondents and structured interview for illiterate respondents. The findings revealed that approximately half of the respondents (50.5%) use traditional family planning methods and some (20.6%) do not use any form of contraception. The four most commonly used traditional family planning methods were abstinence, exclusive/prolonged breastfeeding, use of herbs and combined methods. 'Magic' and a 'local chemical' was used least. Age and level of education of couples significantly influenced their choices and use of traditional family planning methods in Kogi State, Nigeria, whereas location (rural or urban) and gender were not statistically significant. It is recommended that couples in Kogi State should be educated and counselled on the safe traditional methods of family planning to ensure their proper use and efficacy.

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