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Factor Differentials in contraceptive use and demographic profile among females who had their first coital activity at most 16 years versus those at 16+ years old in a developing nation

Background: Previous studies have examined age at first sexual intercourse and factors which determine contraceptive use, but none have explored factors which determined method of contraception use between females whose first coital activity began at 16+ years and those who started < 16 years old.

Aims/objectives: This research aims to bridge the gap in the literature by elucidating information on the differentials in factors of contraceptive use between females whose first coital activity was < 16 years and 16+ years old as well as sociodemographic and reproductive health characteristics of these respondents.

Methods and materials: This descriptive cross-sectional study used a secondary dataset from a national probability sample survey. The current study extracted only females aged 15-49 years from 2002 Reproductive Health Survey to carry out this research. The study population was 7,168 women of the reproductive ages, with a response rate of 77.6%. Of those who responded, 32.5% had first coitus before 16 years old compared with 67.5% who began at 16+ years. Stepwise logistic regression analyses were used to fit the one outcome measure (contraceptive use) by different socio-demographic as well as reproductive health variables. Odds ratios were determined by logistic regression analyses. A p value < 0.05 (two-tailed) was used to establish statistical significance.

Results: More females whose first coitus was < 16 were currently in a sexual union (83%) compared with 79% of those who began at 16+ years old. Factor differentials on contraceptive use emerged between the two cohorts. These were social class (upper class: OR = 0.72, 9%% CI = 0.55 – 0.94) for those who begin < 16 years old but not for those 16+ and area of residence (Rural area: OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.07 – 1.47) for the latter but not the former.

Conclusion: The current results are far reaching and can be used to guide new public health intervention programmes.

Author(s): Paul A. Bourne

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