Fear of contraceptives’ side effects and tensions in marital union among women at risk for unintended pregnancy in southwest Nigeria

  • Ojo Melvin Agunbiade Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
  • Clementina Oghoadena Osezua Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Keywords: Risk perception, Contraceptive use experiences, Unintended pregnancy, childrearing burden, Southwest Nigeria


Backgroud: Contraceptive uptake remains low among reproductive age women in Nigeria.This paper explores the views of women at risk for unintended pregnancy concerning contraceptives use, side effects, childrearing burden and the fear of unintended pregnancy in marriage. Methods: We conducted four focus group discussions and 32 in-depth interviews with married women (35-40 years) in two Yoruba communities in Southwest Nigeria.Results: Contraceptives awareness exists alongside with perceived side effects and misconceptions around  contraceptive use among women. Cultural beliefs around the woman’s body and disempowerment through unplaned pregnancy before marriage provided limited spaces to negotiate contraceptive use. The  impression that contraceptive use among women could  promote marital infidelity  still holds, while a feeling of  husband’s extramarital relations was sometimes an opportunity to demand the use of condom.Conclusion: Contextual understanding of risks of contraceptive use could help in addressing the unmet need for contraceptives among women at risks for an unplanned pregnancy.

Author Biographies

Ojo Melvin Agunbiade, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Clementina Oghoadena Osezua, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Department of Sociology and Anthropology