Contraceptive use and unintended pregnancy among young women and men in Accra, Ghana

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



The objective of this study was to determine factors associated with modern contraceptive use and unintended pregnancy among young women and men in Accra, Ghana. From September-December 2013, we conducted a cross-sectional survey with 250 women and 100 men aged 18–24. We explored determinants of modern contraceptive use among males and females and unintended pregnancy among females. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, Fisher’s exact tests, and multivariable logistic regression were used. Participants had an average of three lifetime sexual partners, and 91% had one current partner. Overall, 44% reported current modern contraceptive use. In multivariate modeling, modern contraceptive use was associated with higher education compared to primary (AORs 2.1–4.3); ever talking with someone about contraception (AOR 4.7); feeling unsupported by a healthcare provider for contraception (AOR 2.2); and not feeling at risk of unintended pregnancy (AOR 2.7). While ≥ 70% of participants recognized most contraceptive methods, awareness of some methods was lacking. Nearly all respondents (91%) felt at least one modern method was unsafe. Nearly half of all females (45%) reported their last pregnancy was unintended, and 63% of females and 58% of males felt at risk for future unintended pregnancy. Women were more likely to experience unintended pregnancy if they had ever given birth (AOR 6.7), their sexual debut was 8–14 years versus 20–24 years (AOR 3.4), or they had 3–4 lifetime sexual partners versus 1–2 (AOR 2.4). Targeted interventions are needed to improve understanding of the safety of modern contraceptive methods, increase awareness of long-acting methods, and consequently increase modern contraceptive access and use.