KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF CONTRACEPTIVE METHODS AMONG YOUTH IN ABUJA METROPOLIS
Unwanted pregnancy followed by unsafe abortion can be avoided by using different contraceptive methods. Information on knowledge, attitude and practice of contraceptives among youth is particular important because of high rates of teenage and unwanted pregnancies as well as soaring STI and HIV.AIDS rates. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, the case is not different as significant proportion of youth who engages in premarital sex, either lack basic knowledge of contraception, or are ignorant about contraceptive practices. This study examined the knowledge, and use of contraceptive method among youth in Abuja metropolis. A cross-sectional of five hundred (500) youth aged 15-25 years was carried out using instruments like other-administered structured interview schedule, in-depth interviews and informal conversation to collect data. The analysis of the data showed majority of the youth in Abuja metropolis are sexually experienced (58.2%) with most of the first sexual experiences occurring within the 15-19 years age group. There is a high level of knowledge (78.8%) of contraceptive methods available and where to get them but the level of contraceptive use is relatively lower (34.6%) even for the sexually active notwithstanding their level of education especially the students at higher institutions. This could be attributed to barriers to contraceptive use identified by them which includes embarrassment to buy, fear of side effect, disapproval by partner and lack of proper knowledge of contraceptive. Finally, it was concluded that there is a wide disparity between contraceptive knowledge and practice which need to be bridged. There is also need to review policies regarding reproductive health, sexuality and family life education among youth in Nigeria.