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Fertility knowledge, contraceptive use and unintentional pregnancy in 29 African countries: a cross-sectional study
Authors: Ayodeji Emmanuel Iyanda, Barbara J. Dinkins, Tolulope Osayomi, Temitope Joshua Adeusi, Yongmei Lu, and Joseph R. Oppong
Source: International Journal of Public Health, Volume 65; DOI:
Topic(s): Contraception
Family planning
Unintended pregnancy
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: APR 2020
Abstract: Objectives: We examined the association between incorrect knowledge of ovulation and unintentional pregnancy and child among young women in sub-Saharan Africa countries. Methods: Using Pearson’s Chi-square, t test, multiple logistic regression, and likelihood ratio test, we analyzed Demographic and Health Survey data (2008–2017) of 169,939 young women (15–24 year). Results: The range of prevalence of incorrect knowledge of ovulation was 51% in Comoros and 89.6% in Sao Tome and Principe, while unintentional pregnancy ranged between 9.4% in the Republic of Benin and 59.6% in Namibia. The multivariate result indicates a strong association between incorrect knowledge of ovulation and unintentional pregnancy (OR = 1.17; p < 0.05) and unintentional child (OR = 1.15; p < 0.05). Conclusions: Adolescent women (15–19) generally have poor knowledge of ovulation and are more likely to report an unintentional pregnancy/child than women between ages 20–24. To reduce the burden of unintentional child/pregnancy in Africa, fertility knowledge should not only be improved on but must consider the sociocultural context of women in different countries that might affect the adoption of such intervention programs. Pragmatic efforts, such as building community support for young women to discuss and share their experiences with professionals and educate them on fertility and sexuality, are essential.