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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-10

Different sources of information and their effects on contraceptives usage among female undergraduates in a Nigerian university

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Department of Epidemiology, Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Kwara State Ministry of Health, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria

Date of Submission23-Apr-2018
Date of Acceptance22-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication16-Nov-2020

Correspondence Address:
Ishaq Funsho Abdul
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jms.jms_24_18

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Aim: The aim is to determine whether there is a significant and or predictable effect of information sources on contraceptives and contraceptives usage among female undergraduates at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Design: The study design involves cross-sectional structured questionnaire-based.
Setting: The university campus.
Participants: One hundred and fifty-one females from 100 to 500 levels and studying varying courses were selected from the bursary list of students using a multistage random sampling method.
Main Outcome Measures: Do sources of information have a significant and predictable relationship with contraceptives usage?
Results: Most of the students were 20–24 years old (53.0%) with a mean age of 20.28 ± 2.20 years. Christianity was the most practiced religion (55.0%), while Yoruba, the predominant tribe (73.6%). Out of the 91.4% aware of contraceptives, only 51.0% had ever used contraception. The condom was the most typical (90.9%) contraceptive used. Teachers were the most reported source of information on contraception (20.1%) but were not statistically significant, followed closely by peers (15.9%), with only 14.95% coming from hospital sources. However, at the multivariate level, radio was four times a significant predictor of use of contraception among the students (odds ratio [OR] = 4.288. 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.106–16.633]) while television was two times a predictor (OR = 1.987. 95% CI [0.776–5.091]).
Conclusion: Television and radio were found to have a significant and predictable impact on contraceptives usage, so promotion of contraceptive use should engage the media more when targeting university students. The university's local radio becomes highly recommended, and the upcoming university local television station in sexual health and contraception information dissemination for students.
Implication Statement: The promotion of sexual and reproductive health, especially contraception, to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy on the campus of higher institutions are incredibly important. This study is contributing to understanding the ways and means of going about this demanding and evolving task.

Keywords: Awareness, higher institution, prevention, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy

How to cite this article:
Abdul IF, Imohagene A, Omokanye L, Adesina KT, Oguntoye MS, Popoola GO. Different sources of information and their effects on contraceptives usage among female undergraduates in a Nigerian university. J Med Soc 2020;34:5-10

How to cite this URL:
Abdul IF, Imohagene A, Omokanye L, Adesina KT, Oguntoye MS, Popoola GO. Different sources of information and their effects on contraceptives usage among female undergraduates in a Nigerian university. J Med Soc [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Dec 8];34:5-10. Available from:

  Introduction Top

The University environment, including the University of Ilorin, is usually characterized by high personal freedom and social interaction at different levels. This social interaction often translates to sexual activities.[1] It is documented that students have permissive sexual lifestyle and high levels of risky sexual behaviors such as transactional sex, multiple sexual partners, and unprotected casual sex.[1],[2]

To avert the unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among students with its consequent adverse outcomes, contraceptive use has been prioritized as a key intervention.[3] Improving the universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, including contraceptives, was a key target of the Millennium Development Goals.[4],[5]

A study of female postsecondary students in Enugu State, Nigeria, showed that 21% of respondents reported having had an unwanted pregnancy, and 18% reported having had induced abortion. In that study, 51% had never used a contraceptive method, and 76% did not use any preventive measure the first time they had sexual intercourse.[6] Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios globally (576/100,000 live births), representing 32% of all deaths among women, and complications from unsafe abortion contribute as much as 40.0% to this ratio.[7] Furthermore, the United Nations estimated that nearly one of every two new HIV infections worldwide occurs among young adults between 15 and 24 years old.[8]

This group of individuals should be the targets of good advocacy for contraceptive methods/usage to reduce unwanted pregnancy incidence. A high level of awareness and concomitant utilization of contraception is desirable among adult women, a significant proportion of whom are in tertiary institutions.

Information about contraception and other sexual health issues can reduce these risks, and for these reasons, it is crucial to understand where students acquire this type of knowledge.

Khurana and Bleakley revealed that “Doctors/nurses” were the most frequently used contraceptive information source reported by young adults.[9] Significant variations existed in source use based on demographic characteristics and sexual risk history. The same study showed that Females were more likely to obtain contraceptive information from health care professionals. In contrast, males were more likely to report friends, partners, the internet, and television/radio as their frequently used source. Young adults with a sexual risk history were more likely to rely on doctors/nurses and less likely to report friends and the Internet as their frequently used source than those without a sexual risk history. Most of these studies did not test for significant relationships between these sources of information and contraceptives use, which this study aims to carry out.

Information from this study would help improve existing efforts in providing contraceptive information to students and assist in the development of new strategies. The Authors are involved in helping the University to evolve a sustainable program of prevention of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections in the campus.


  • To know the level of awareness about contraception among students
  • To know the level of use of different contraceptives among students
  • To know the most frequent source of information about contraception among students
  • To know the relation between the sources of information about contraceptives and the use of contraceptives.

Null hypothesis

Source of information about contraception does not have any effect on contraceptive use.

Alternate hypothesis

Source of information about contraception affects contraceptive use.

  Methodology Top

Study Population

The study population consisted of students at the University of Ilorin between 15 and 30 years of age. The University of Ilorin is a federal government-owned tertiary institution in Kwara State, North Central, Nigeria.

Type of Study

This study was a cross-sectional one. The sample size was determined using the Fishers formula.[10] The prevalence was 91%, which was the percentage of secondary and tertiary students aware of contraceptives from a previous Nigerian study.[11] The sample was adjusted using 20% attrition: Resulting in a sample size of 151.

Sampling Method

A staggered multistage random sampling was done using students' nominal role from 100 level to 500 level, obtained from the University's bursary department, and 30 students from each level were obtained apart from 500 level where 31 students were obtained. The students cut across various faculties in the university.

Questionnaire Administration

The respondents were interviewed using a structured questionnaire administered by trained administrators who obtained information on sociodemographic characteristics, contraceptive awareness, use, and source of information on contraceptive awareness. The interview was after informed consent was obtained. The questionnaire was previously tested twice, after which it was edited to validate it, making it more understandable to the participants. The confidentiality of the information was expressed in the questionnaire's introductory aspect, and ethical approval was obtained from the University's ethical committee.

Statistical Analysis

The questionnaire area coded and analyzed with Ilorin city, Kwara State in Nigeria statistical analyses was done using t-test, Chi-square for trend test, and Fisher's exact test.

A significant level was set at 0.05.

Variables were selected for the logistic regression based on extant literature on possible determinants of contraception use and based on whether they were statistically significant at the bivariate level.

  Results Top

The demographic characteristics of the students are as shown in [Table 1]. Most of the students were 20–24 years old (53.0%), and their mean age was 20.28 ± 2.20 years. Christianity was the most practiced religion (55.0%), while Yoruba was the predominant tribe (73.6%).
Table 1: Sociodemographic distribution of study respondents and awareness of contraception (n=151)

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In [Table 2], 91.4% of the students are aware of contraception; however, only about half of them (51.0%) have ever used any form of contraception. Among these, condom use was the most common (90.9%). Furthermore, in [Figure 1], Teachers were the most reported source of information on contraception (20.1%) followed closely by peers (15.9%).
Table 2: Awareness about contraception and use of contraception among respondents

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Figure 1: Source of information about contracept

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The figure shows that most of the information about contraception came from teachers (20.1%), with only 14.95 from hospital sources.

[Table 3] shows the demographic factors with more Christians (84) than Muslims, (66) but Muslims were more significantly associated with contraceptive use than Christians odds ratio (OR) 0.512, confidence interval [CI] 0.266–0.985, χ2 4.056, P = 0.044.
Table 3: Relationship between sociodemographic variable and use of contraception

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In [Table 4], the relationship between the source of information and use of contraception among respondents are shown with radio OR 3.944, CI (1.054–14.764), χ2 4.696, P = 0.030 as well as Television OR 2.157, CI (1.019–6.214), χ2 4.180, P = 0.041 being sources that were significantly associated with contraceptive use.
Table 4: Relationship between source of information and use of contraception among respondents

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Predictors of contraception use among respondents are shown in [Table 5] at a multivariate level, where only Radio remained a significant predictor of contraception use among the students. Those who had Radio as a source of information were four times more likely to use contraception than those who did not have Radio as their source of information (OR = 4.288, 95% CI [1.106–16.633]).
Table 5: Predictors of use of contraception among respondents

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  Discussion Top

The mean age was 20.28 ± 2.20 years, which is different from 23 ± 4.2 years and 23.2 ± 4.3 years from 2 other similar studies done in Nigeria.[10],[12] Most University students in Nigeria are within the age bracket of 17–25.[13] There were more Christian respondents, which is like findings in the studies by Abiodun et al. study and Appiah-Agyekum et al.[2],[14] Even though Ilorin is predominantly a Muslim city, students come from various parts of the country to attend the University. However, worthy of note is the significant increase in contraceptive use as there are usually more married young Muslim young Adults who are likely to be sexually active more than Christians. The Yoruba tribe predominantly dominates Kwara State; hence, the highest percentages of respondents were Yoruba.

A higher percentage of respondents (91.4%) were aware of contraception, like studies done in Nigeria and Uganda, as both had above 90% of respondents who were aware.[2],[8] Furthermore, 51% of respondents had used contraceptives with male condom discovered to be most known, like other studies done.[8],[11],[15] However, the type of contraception used was different from studies by Ekine et al. and Oye-Adeniran et al., which had withdrawal and oral contraceptive pills as the highest, respectively.[10],[16] The high level of awareness and use of male condoms can be explained by the massive campaigns by governmental and nongovernmental agencies on the use of male condom in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.[2]

Regarding sources of information, teachers were the highest in a study by Hoque et al., but similar studies by Oye-Adeniran et al., Duru et al., and Aigbiremolen et al. had friends, patent medicine stores, and mass media as the highest, respectively.[8],[11],[16],[17] Radio and television (Mass Media) as sources of information were significantly associated with the use of contraception (P = 0.030 and 0.041, respectively) in this study. The variation in the sources of information on contraception may reflect different trends in different populations. The most common in this study is the Radio, followed by the Television, and such changes have also been noticed in a study in Britain.[18] Radio was 37.5% not far away from the highest source, which was friends' (44.8%) in the study by Sweya et al.[19] while Radio was just 9% as a source of information on contraception in a recent study in Ghana.[20]

However, it is pertinent to state that a radio station operates at the University of Ilorin, which may have inadvertently led to the highest figure for Radio as a source of information on contraception in this study. Constant evaluation of the most significant information dissemination sources for contraception and sexual health for different locations and populations is imperative.[18]

Despite Teachers been the highest source of information empirically, at the multivariate level, Television as a source of information has more than two times an increase in the odds. In contrast, Radio as a source of information is four times more likely to predict contraception use. Aigbiremolen et al. observed this finding that mass media was the highest source of information among students, but its significance was not tested.[11]

  Conclusion Top

From this study, Television and Radio were found to have great significance and predictability affecting contraception usage. Therefore, health-care practitioners' mass campaigns on contraception through these media will go a long way in improving information about sexual health and contraception for students. The University's local Radio being very functional, is therefore highly recommended in this regard. The establishment of the university local television station already in the pipeline can significantly be of additional value in sexual health and contraception information dissemination.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Arowojolu AO, Adekunle AO. Perception and practice of emergency contraception by post-secondary students in South West Nigeria. Afr J Reproductive Health 2000;4:56-65.  Back to cited text no. 1
Abiodun OM, Balogun OR. Sexual activity and contraceptive use among young female students of tertiary educational institutions in Ilorin, Nigeria. Contraception 2009;79:146-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
Nsubuga1 H, Sekandi JN, Sempeera H, Makumbi FE. Contraceptive use, knowledge, attitude, perceptions, and sexual behaviour among female University students in Uganda: A cross-sectional survey. BMC Womens Health 2016;16:1-11.  Back to cited text no. 3
Cleland J, Bernstein S, Ezeh A, Faundes A, Glasier A, Innis J. Family planning: The unfinished agenda. Lancet 2006;368:1810-27.  Back to cited text no. 4
United Nations Population Fund/State of the World Population 2004. The Cairo Consensus at Ten: Population, Reproductive Health, and the Global Effort to End Poverty. New York: United Nations Population Fund; 2004.  Back to cited text no. 5
Uche A, Nancy S, Joan K, Daniel SO. Sexual activity, and contraceptive knowledge and use Among In-School Adolescents in Nigeria. Int Fam Perspect 1997;23:28-33.  Back to cited text no. 6
Utuk MN, Abasiattai MA, Edu B. Awareness and practice of contraception among female secondary school students in Uyo, Nigeria. Ibom Med J 2017;10:56-60.  Back to cited text no. 7
Duru CB, Iwu AC, Diwe KA, Uwakwe KA, Merenu IA, Emerole CA, et al. Sexual behavior, contraceptives knowledge and use among female undergraduates in tertiary institution in Imo State, Nigeria. Amer J Med Sci Med 2015;3:61-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
Khurana A, Bleakley A. Young adults' sources of contraceptive information: Variations based on demographic characteristics and sexual risk behaviors. Contraception 2015;91:157-63.  Back to cited text no. 9
Aigbiremolen AO, Duru CB, Abah SO, Abejegah C, Asalu OB, Oriafo B. Contraception among tertiary students: Knowledge, use and behavior of female undergraduates in Edo State, Nigeria. Global J Med Resea 2014;14:1-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
Ekine AA, West OC, Ibrahim IA, Ikeanyi E. Prospective study of knowledge, awareness and practice of effective contraceptive method among secondary and higher institution students in Rivers and Bayelsa State of Nigeria. J Den Med Sci 2015;14:62-70.  Back to cited text no. 11
Ojule DJ, Oriji VK, Georgewill NK. Awareness and practice of emergency contraception among students at the University of Portharcourt, South-South, Nigeria. Niger Health J 2008;8:6-9.  Back to cited text no. 12
Aluede O, Imhonde OH, Maliki EA, Alutu NG. Assessing Nigerian university students' knowledge about HIV/AIDS. J Soc Sci 2005;11:207-13.  Back to cited text no. 13
Appiah-Agyekum NN, Kayi EA. Students' perceptions of contraceptives in university of Ghana. J Fam Reprod Health 2013;7:39-44.  Back to cited text no. 14
Roupa Z, Mylona E, Sotiropoulou P, Arsenos P, Kotrotriou E, Gourni M, et al. Planned parenthood and students' knowledge of contraceptive methods. Health Sci J 2006;1:1-10.  Back to cited text no. 15
Oye-Adeniran BA, Adewole IF, Umoh AV, Oladokun A, Gbadegesin A, Odeyemi AK, et al. Sources of contraceptive commodities for users in Nigeria. PLoS Med 2005;2:1145-51.  Back to cited text no. 16
Hoque ME, Ntsipe T, Mokgatle-Nthabu M. Awareness, and practice of contraceptive use among university students in Botswana. Sahara J 2014;10:83-8.  Back to cited text no. 17
Tanton C, Jones KG, Macdowall W, Clifton S, Mitchell KR, Datta JJ, et al. Patterns and trends in sources of information about sex among young people in Britain: Evidence from three national surveys of sexual attitudes and lifestyles. BMJ Open 2015;5:e007834.  Back to cited text no. 18
Sweya MN, Msuya SE, Mahande MJ, Manongi R. Contraceptive knowledge, sexual behavior, and factors associated with contraceptive use among female undergraduate university students in Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania. Adolesc Health Med Ther 2016;7:109-15.  Back to cited text no. 19
Gbagbo FY, Nkrumah J. Family planning among undergraduate university students: A CASE study of a public university in Ghana. BMC Womens Health 2019;12:1-9.  Back to cited text no. 20


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]


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