Background: Method-specific contraceptive prevalence varies widely globally, as huge variations exist in the use of different types of contraception, with short-term methods being the most common methods in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Evidence is scanty on the trends, patterns and determinants of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods in SSA. This study aimed to address this knowledge gap.
Methods: Using a pseudo longitudinal research design and descriptive and inferential statistics, we analysed Demographic and Health Survey data of eight countries selected on the basis of contraceptive prevalence rates across SSA. Multinomial logistic regression modelling was used to tease out the predictors of the uptake of LARC methods in the selected countries.
Results: Findings exhibit a steady but slow upward trend in LARC methods across selected countries, as a marginal increase was recorded in LARC uptake over a 10-year period in many of the selected countries. Results established significant predictors of LARC methods uptake, including fertility-related characteristics, age, level of education, work status, wealth index and exposure to mass media. This study underscored the need to address various barriers to the uptake of LARC methods in SSA. It is recommended that governments at different levels undertake to cover the costs of LARC methods in order to increase access and uptake.