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Influences on Seeking a Contraceptive Method among Adolescent Women in Three Cities in Nigeria


Sanchez, Elynn Kann; Speizer, Ilene S.; Tolley, Elizabeth E.; Calhoun, Lisa M.; Barrington, Clare; & Olumide, Adesola O. (2020). Influences on Seeking a Contraceptive Method among Adolescent Women in Three Cities in Nigeria. Reproductive Health, 17(1), 167. PMCID: PMC7594415


BACKGROUND: Despite international support for increasing access to contraceptives among adolescents, gaps in use still exist worldwide. Past research has identified barriers to use across all levels of the socioecological model including restrictive policies, a lack of youth friendly services, and knowledge gaps. This study was conducted to further identify influences on contraceptive use among adolescent girls in Nigeria in hopes of guiding future policies and programs.
METHODS: In 2018, 12 focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted in three cities in Nigeria with young women ages 15-24 with the objective of determining what and who influence adolescents' contraceptive seeking behaviors. A vignette structure was used to identify perceptions on injunctive and descriptive community norms that influence adolescent contraceptive behaviors. The FGDs were conducted by members of the University of Ibadan Centre for Population and Reproductive Health (CPRH) and analyzed by a researcher at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Carolina Population Center using a thematic analysis approach.
RESULTS: Participants identified community level resistance to sex and contraceptive use among unmarried adolescents though also acknowledged that these adolescent behaviors are still occurring despite established norms. Concerns about side effects and the preservation of fertility were frequently attached to contraceptive use and pointed to as a reason for community resistance to contraceptive use among this population. Participants saw peers, parents and partners as influencers on a girl's decision to seek a method, though each were believed to play a different role in that decision.
CONCLUSION: The findings show that that despite barriers created by established injunctive norms, young women with a supportive social network can access contraceptive methods despite these barriers. By harnessing the influence of peers, partners and parents, the Nigerian family planning efforts can strive to improve the health and well-being of young people.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title

Reproductive Health


Sanchez, Elynn Kann
Speizer, Ilene S.
Tolley, Elizabeth E.
Calhoun, Lisa M.
Barrington, Clare
Olumide, Adesola O.



Data Set/Study

URHI Sustainability Study