Factors associated with emergency contraception use among female undergraduate students in the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Mushy, Stellah Emmanuel
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Introduction: Unintended pregnancy is a major public health issue requiring a broad approach with multiple prevention strategies. Emergency contraception has been used after unprotected sex to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. However, EC is critically underused intervention by young women that has been reported that if properly used EC holds the potential to reduce the incidence of unsafe abortions resulting from unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, there was a need to identify factors associated with EC use among young women. Objective: The major purpose of the study was to identify factors associated with EC use among female undergraduate students in the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Methodology: The study enrolled 384 female undergraduate students at the UDSM main Campus. The collected data was coded and entered in the computer that was then analyzed using SPSS statistical computer software version 16. Explorative factor analysis, descriptive statistical analysis, cross tabulation and logistic regression were the major procedures used in the analysis. Results: Explorative factor analysis showed that two out of eighteen items failed to meet a minimum primary loading factor of ≥ 0.5 and were deleted. A significant proportion of participants 30 percent (N=46) of those who reported to had vaginal intercourse (N=155) in the last six months had ever used EC. Hierarchical multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that perceived behavioral control (AOR=3, 95%CI, 1.52-5.54; p= 0.001) and perceived self-benefit (AOR=2; 95%CI, 0.98-4.54; p=0.046) were significant variables for intention to use EC. Variables of age, subjective norms and relationship status were not statistically significant associated with intention to use EC. Conclusion: The study findings revealed that perceived behavioral control and perceived self-benefits to be the factors associated with intention to use EC. However; the practice of EC was reported to be very low. Based on the findings it is crucial to develop a strategy to increase positive attitude and controllability, need based practice and decrease barriers among respondents. More complete understanding of the determinants of women’s actual EC behavior is vital in preventing or minimizing use behaviors that lead to unwanted pregnancy Key words: Emergency contraception, young women, utilization, Theory of Planned behavior, UDSM, Tanzania.