The proportion of women who have an unmet need for modern contraception is highest (24%) in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is double the world average of 12% in 2015. This unmet need leads to unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and limitation of women’s ability to achieve educational, employment and economic goals. This study aims to assess the unmet needs of contraception and the reasons for contraceptive non-use among female undergraduate students in Benin City. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on female undergraduate students in Benin City, Edo State from January to June, 2017. The respondents were selected using multistage sampling technique. Data was collected using pre-tested structured self- administered questionnaires and data analysis was by IBM SPSS version 21.0. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05. Results revealed that a total of 400 respondents with mean age (SD) of 21.3 (2.5) years participated in this study. One hundred and sixty-one (40.2%) respondents were sexually active and of these, 128 (79.5%) had ever used contraceptives. However, only 97 (76.4%) of those who had sexual exposure within the past 1 month were currently using contraceptives. The unmet need of contraception was 18.6%. Reasons for unmet need included partner’s disapproval 24 (80.0%), fear of side effects 12 (40.0%) and religious beliefs 8 (20.0%). Thus, unmet need of contraception was high among the study group. Concerted efforts of relevant stakeholders will ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services.
Key words: Benin City, contraception, undergraduate, unmet needs
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