THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF CONTRACEPTION AMONG MALE ADOLESCENT STUDENTS OF COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
INTRODUCTION: Contraceptives are drugs or device
used to prevent a woman from being pregnant and also used to protect men and
women from sexually transmitted diseases.
How can this be driven home is truth to our adolescences, utilized to
reduce our teaming population and to reduce the diseases that are sexually
transmitted. The project was done in
March – July 2010.
To assess the knowledge and improve the practice of this knowledge in
our teaming adolescent population bearing in mind that a good beginning will
eventually grow to a good end.
A descriptive cross-sectional study was done using quantitative and
qualitative methods of data collection.
Though sample size was calculated for a finite population, the total
population of student respondents was used for the study. Data collection was by use of a seria
structured questionnaire and an observational check list.
The mean age of the student
respondents was 25 + 5 years.
All the respondents are male adolescent students. The knowledge of contraception in this group
was 86.1% as against those who had as knowledge of 13.9%; the practice of
contraceptive use has 77% while abstinence ws 6.6% and withdrawal 5.5%
respectively. The subject of study of
the students did not influence the knowledge and practice of contraception so
also is their year of study. The mass
media and peer group were found to be their main sources of information that
contraceptives and their parents’ being alive or dead did not also influence
the students who had good knowledge of contraception affirmed that they
will continue to practice it. The
cultural values of students did not influence their practice of male contraception. The mass media a veritable means of
communication should be effectively used to cover both urban and rural areas in
order to stimulate more adolescent to the use of male contraception.
Parents, teachers, health
practitioners should do more to give adolescents such advice to help in their
proactive ability and the need to adequate control of sexuality related
The Oxford Advanced Learners’
Dictionary of Current English defines “Contraceptives as a drug, device of
practice used to prevent a woman becoming pregnant.”1 This
definition though well embracing but does not include its utilization as a
preventive measure against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases; such as
AIDS/HIV. The act of contraception has
been an old practice even from our forefathers who designed the timing of
mating with their wives or not depending on whether they want to make
babies. They have a mental picture of
when the monthly menstrual flow of their wives takes place or how long their
wives have to breast feed their babies to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Some traditional women even go through the
extra-mile of wearing contraceptive bands on their waist to prevent unwanted
Each year, women around the world
experience 75 million unwanted pregnancies.
Unwanted pregnancy can occur for two main reasons; either the couple was
not using contraceptives, or the method they were using failed. There are many reasons why people do not use
contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancy, including lack of access to
family planning information and services; incest or rape; personal or religious
beliefs; inadequate knowledge about the risks of pregnancy following
unprotected sexual relations; and women’s limited decision-making ability with
regard to sexual relations and contraceptive use.2 Many women are
deprived of family planning services.
The use of contraceptives by both
males and females has been accepted and widely practiced in the developed
world. This has not been the case in the
developing world where the male chauvinistic cultural belief that women should
protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies; instead of the men also making it
possible to use contraceptives. The act
of child bearing is the combined effort of both males and females, but in the
developing world; it is seen as a primary function of the female gender. This is the reason why the usage of
contraceptives among men in these areas has not been encouraged as the female
contraceptives. The patriarchal nature
of the African society does not seem to help or encourage male contraception
rather it makes men to believe that they do not have any role to play in
In the developed world, the populace
has overgrown the persistent myths and negative attitude of men towards
contraception. However, the fact that
male contraception in the underdeveloped countries has not been encouraged has
led to the paucity of information about it and also reduced the quest for
knowledge in this area. Studies show
that men want access to better contraceptives.
In a recent study of British men, 80% placed a hypothetical male pill as
one of their top three contraceptive choices (Brooks, 1988)3. Another study found that over 60% of men in
Germany, Spain, Brazil and Mexico were willing to use a new method of male
contraception (Heinemaan, 2006).4
In another study on “why Nigeria adolescent seek abortion rather than
contraception: Evidence from focus group
discussions” where youths were asked about contraceptive availability,
perceived advantages of method used, side effects and young people’s reasons
for using or not using contraceptives?
It was found that the fear of future infertility was an overriding
factor in adolescent decisions to rely on induced abortion rather than
Methods of Contraception
- are more in the female gender than the
Those of the female include:
The Combined Pill: These are oral contraceptives which are
eniphasic and biphasic pills, Everyday /Ed pills. They are 99% effective when properly
taken. They contain two hormones – estrogen
and progistogen, and acts by preventing ovulation when taken regularly.
Mini Pill: Progestogen pill only. Its 98% effective when taken properly and
regularly any day at the same time. It
causes changes in the womb which makes it difficult for the sperm to enter the
Injectable Contraceptives: They include Depo-provera and
Noristerat. Its effective to 99% of
cases. It also stops ovulation by acting
in a similar way to the mini pill. It
provides protection for up to 3 months longer.
It may cause irregularity in her periods and break through bleeding.
Intra Uterine Device: Its 96 – 99% effective. It’s a plastic device or with copper inserted
into the womb by the doctor and it prevents the ovum or egg from settling in
Diaphragm or Cap: Its 85-97% effective with careful use. It is a soft rubber device put into the
vagina before intercourse, to cover the cervix, and form a barrier which
prevents sperm from meeting the egg. It
must be used with a spermicide and left in place for six hours after
Sponge: It is 75 – 91% effective, with careful
use. It’s a soft circular polyenthrane
foam sponge, put into the vagina up to 24 hours before intercourse, to cover
the cervix. It already contains a
Female Sterilization: It’s a permanent method of birth control in
which the fallopian tubes are closed so that the egg cannot travel down than to
meet the sperm. Its effective for life
but has occasional failure rate of 1:300 where the tube rejion and fertility
(‘Safe Period’ ‘Rhythm method’). Its 85
– 95% effective. It aims to predict
ovulation when the woman is most fertile intercourse is avoided at this time. This symptom-thermal method requires daily
recording of body temperature, noting changes in vaginal nuclear and other
signs of ovulation.
The male contraceptive measures
Condom: It is effective in 85 – 98% of cases with
careful use. Its made up of a thin
rubber and worn on an erect penis. It
prevents sperm from entering the woman.
It protects both partners against sexually transmitted diseases and also
protects the woman against cancer of the cervix.
It’s a permanent method which involves the cutting or blocking of the
tubes that carry sperm from the testes (vas deferens) to the penis. It is a permanent method of contraception
like the tubal ligation in females.
Another method of contraception needs to be used for about 3 months
after vasectomy so as to clear the whole sperm from the tube. Occasional failure of this method occurs in
Method: This method
is usually not effective but its practiced by some own. They withdraw the penis before ejaculation
takes place during orgasm. Its not
effective because it does not take care of sperm which are passed into the
vagina before orgasm takes place.
Emergency Contraception: This is method of preventing pregnancy after
having unprotected sexual intercourse or if you had a contraceptive accident or
misuse (such as condom breakage, failed coitus interruptus) and in case of
rape. There are two common methods which
can be used in emergency contraception:
Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)
Copper intra-uterine device (IUDs).
two methods must be used within few days of unprotected sexual
intercourse. They are safe for most
women. The ECPs contain the same
hormones used in family planning pills but are used differently. They either stop the release of the egg or
prevent fertilization of an egg. The
IUDs immobilize sperms, slow down sperm movement, prevent fertilization of the
egg and cause changes in the uterine lining which prevent pregnancy.
It is true that sexual education in
most of our homes are poor, with the belief that being sexually educated will
make the student to be promiscuous or to test what they have learnt. But we all know that our society have
overgrown such belief, and they will always have coitus, whether they are
educated or not. They will always be
influenced by their peer groups and those who are not yet exposed will learn
the act in a negative way. This being
the case, the onus now rests on adults to educate the teenage or early adult
group on what the reproductive organs stand for, the usage of contraceptives to
reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancies or even infections in the
The need for this study is to
stimulate parents and school authorities to educate our younger generations to
be well equipped with the knowledge of family planning. Failure of this taking place will lead to an
increase in the number of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases
and undue population rise in the society.
FOR THE STUDY
Over the years, especially in Africa, the need for contraception and control of
population using female methods of the pill, injectables etc have been
adapted. Before now only the condom and
withdrawal method has been used by men.
The increasing need for male
contraception cannot be over-emphasized as humans are more aware of the fact
that, there need to be a greater co-operation between spouses for family and
reproductive health to grow and blossom; with greater understanding that
everyone involved will contribute their quota to the success of the family.
To this extent therefore, there is
the dire need for the study of this nature to identify the contraceptive
devices possibly of use now, the knowledge of their use, how well adolescent
comply with their use, in order to educate them so that they could have a good beginning
in their understanding of choosing when to have children and when not to. This is done with the wisdom that a good
beginning when well nurtured will bring about a good end.
This study will give us an overview
of the perception or knowledge, the usage or practice of contraception among
these adolescent which will again enable us to educate them on what good
practice of family or reproductive health should be. This will translate into a better moral
upbringing of the society around us.
On-Going Research: There are many ongoing research
projects into different methods of male contraception. Researchers are optimistic that a safe,
effective method of male contraceptive will eventually become a reality,
although this is still several years away.6
The two main areas of research into
male contraception include:
Contraception – where synthetic hormones are used to
temporarily stop the development of healthy sperm.
Non-Hormonal Methods – where other
techniques are used to stop healthy sperm from entering a women’s vagina.
The objective of this study was to
determine the level of awareness of male on contraceptive measures with a view
to improving this knowledge and increasing their compliance to the usage. This will help us in educating them on how to
prevent early pregnancies and its negative effects and or infections to their
young reproductive organs which may lead to secondary infertility in later
assess the knowledge of male students of Federal College of Education Technical
Asaba on male contraception.
determine the practice of male contraception among the students.
assess the factors that influence the use of these contraceptives in this age
group of students.