Objective: To assess the intention to use postpartum contraceptives and factors influencing use.
Method: A total of 423 consecutive consenting women attending the pregnancy and puerperal clinics at a university teaching hospital were interviewed using structured questionnaire.
Results: The prevalence of previous contraceptive use was 35.5%. Fifty-four percent of the respondents intended to use contraceptives after delivery, though 3% were yet to decide. Condoms (38.3%) followed by intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) 11.5%, were the most preferred choice of postpartum contraceptives. However, spermicide (0.4%) was the least preferred. Advanced age and high parity significantly predicted intention to use postpartum contraceptives (P = 0.02 and 0.01, respectively). Also high level of respondent's education and family planning counseling by doctors and nurses increased the intention to use postpartum contraceptives (P = 0.03 and 0.01, respectively).
Conclusion: Family planning counseling and education play a vital role in increasing the use of contraceptives in the postpartum period.