Contraceptive use and distribution of high-risk births in Nigeria: a sub-national analysis

Glob Health Action. 2015 Nov 9:8:29745. doi: 10.3402/gha.v8.29745. eCollection 2015.


Background: Family planning expansion has been identified as an impetus to harnessing Nigeria's demographic dividend. However, there is a need for data to address pockets of inequality and to better understand cultural and social factors affecting contraceptive use and health benefits. This paper contributes to addressing these needs by providing evidence on the trends and sub-national patterns of modern contraceptive prevalence in Nigeria and the association between contraceptive use and high-risk births in Nigeria.

Design: The study utilised women's data from the last three Demographic and Health Surveys (2003, 2008, and 2013) in Nigeria. The analysis involved descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate analyses. The multivariate analyses were performed to examine the relationship between high-risk births and contraceptive use. Associations were examined using Poisson regression.

Results: Findings showed that respondents in avoidable high-risk birth categories were less likely to use contraceptives compared to those at no risk [rate ratio 0.82, confidence interval: 0.76-0.89, p<0.001]. Education and wealth index consistently predicted significant differences in contraceptive use across the models.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that women in the high-risk birth categories were significantly less likely to use a modern method of contraception relative to those categorised as having no risk. However, there are huge sub-national variations at regional and state levels in contraceptive prevalence and subsequent high-risk births. These results further strengthen evidence-based justification for increased investments in family planning programmes at the state and regional levels, particularly regions and states with high unmet needs for family planning.

Keywords: Nigeria; contraceptive use; estimates; high-risk births; sub-national.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception
  • Contraception Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Contraception Behavior / trends*
  • Developing Countries
  • Family Planning Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk*
  • Young Adult