Assessment of level of knowledge and utilization of emergency contraception among female students of Hawassa University, south Ethiopia


Introduction: Emergency contraception is used as an emergency procedure to prevent unintended pregnancy secondary to an unprotected se xual intercourse and method failure. Hence, this study assessed the level of knowledge and utilization of emergency contraception among undergraduate regular female students of Hawassa University, south Ethiopia. Methods: An institution-based cross-sectional survey was conducted among female students of Hawassa University in December 2012. Seven hundred seventy six of the students were sampled by using multistage sampling technique. Pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. Results: The majority 719 (92.7%) of female university students ever had sexual intercourse and 17 (2.2%) experienced forced sex. Eight (47%) of these 17 students experienced unintended pregnancy all of which resulted in an induced abortion. Three hundred seventy nine (72.2%) of the respondents had knowledge about emergency contraceptives and only 41 (10.8%) of them had ever used emergency contraceptives; oral contraceptive pills were the most widely used form of all emergency contraceptives 41 (10.8%). Age, marital status and age at menarche were associated with knowledge of emergency contraception; moreover, residence, year of study and experience of forced sex were found to be predictors of emergency contraception utilization. Conclusion: Female university students had been experiencing high rate of unintended sexual practice and pregnancy, low knowledge level and utilization of emergency contraceptives; moreover, they had no youth-friendly access to the services. Therefore, there is a need for collaborated effort to improve service access and scale up their utilization level to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

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Tolossa, E. , Meshesha, B. and Alemu Abajobir, A. (2013) Assessment of level of knowledge and utilization of emergency contraception among female students of Hawassa University, south Ethiopia. Advances in Reproductive Sciences, 1, 51-56. doi: 10.4236/arsci.2013.13008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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