An Investigation on the knowledge and perceptions of youths on contraceptive use and its influence on unintended pregnancy

Author: Sibanda, Patience

This study aimed at investigating the knowledge and perception of youth on contraceptive use and its influence on unintended pregnancy. Unintended pregnancy is a public health issue in Zimbabwe. Focusing on the problems that most youth go through due to indulgences in risky sexual behaviors due to negative perceptions they have on contraceptive use. Efforts have been made to reduce the rates of unintended pregnancy among youth, which include the introduction of contraceptives, inclusion of the topic in guidance and counselling, and programmes that different organizations have pioneered around the country. The question still remains; “how effective has been the information and availability of contraceptives in the reduction of unintended pregnancy?” the study discovered that most youths have the information on contraceptive use, but this has not deterred any of their risky sexual behaviors and attitudes, to a greater extent. Various reasons for such behavior patterns executed by youths range from perpetual African traditional teachings transferred from one generation to another which explicitly denounce contraceptive use and religious attitudes that proclaim conspiracy theories. It is also the lack of adequate information on their sexuality is-a- vis the modern day society sexual practices. The above mentioned factors contribute to negative perceptions on contraceptive use thus leading to the hypothesis that guided this research: there is lack of knowledge and use of contraceptives. This research identified that societies have a magnitude of work that needs to be done in an endeavor to combat unintended pregnancy and remodel knowledge and perceptions of contraceptive use amongst the youth.