In 2011, 12% of women (out of the 65% sexually active individuals) were said to use modern contraceptives (Society for Family Health). This slow uptake of contraceptives stems majorly from several myths overtime resulting from cultural norms, fear of side effects, low knowledge of contraceptive use and poor access, naming a few. Although a slight increase of contraceptive use (0.9% to 9.8%) was reported from 1982 to 2015 (NDHS, 2018), an increased use would promote biological and societal benefits for Nigerian women.
Contrary to popular belief, research indicates modern contraceptives such as implants, injections, pills and condoms are over 90% effective in preventing pregnancy and poses a low threat to fertility. It is however crucial to consult with a health expert in choosing a contraceptive method, as certain conditions could make a woman ineligible for a particular method. Unbeknown to a majority, use of contraceptive pills within 5 days after intercourse can prevent over 95% of pregnancies but does not terminate an already existing pregnancy (WHO).
As the majority of Nigerian women still maintain reservations concerning the use of contraceptives, what are the expected measures to improve its use? What specific myths about contraceptives use have you encountered and how do we dispel these misconceptions? In debunking common myths behind contraceptives use, what possible advantages could this have on the population?