Use of long-acting reversible contraception among adolescents and young women in Kenya
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The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS 2014) revealed changing patterns in the contraceptive use of young women aged 15–24, shifting from injectable methods to implants. Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is user friendly, long-term, and more effective than other modern methods. It could be a game-changer in dealing with unintended pregnancies and herald a new chapter in the reproductive health and rights of young women. This study determined the factors associated with LARC use among adolescent girls and young women to expand the evidence of its potential as the most effective method of reducing unwanted pregnancies among the cohort. This study analysed secondary data from KDHS 2014 using binary logistic regression. The findings showed a rise in LARC use (18%), with identified predictors of reduced odds being aged 15–19 [OR = 0.735, 95% CI = 0.549–0.984], residence (rural) [OR = 0.674, CI = 0.525–0.865], religion (Protestant/other Christian) [OR = 0.377, CI = 0.168–0.842], married, [OR = 0.746, CI = 0.592–0.940], and region (high contraception) [OR = 0.773, CI = 0.626–0.955], while the number of living children showed increased odds for 1–2 children [OR = 17.624, CI = 9.482–32.756] and 3+ children [OR = 23.531, CI = 11.751–47.119]. This study established the rising popularity of LARC and identified factors that can be addressed to promote it. Its increased uptake could help Kenya achieve the International Conference on Population and Development 25’s first and second commitments on teenage pregnancies and maternal and new-born health, thus promoting the health, wellbeing, educational goals, and rights of this critical cohort. This study can guide the accelerated efforts needed in Kenya’s march towards the five zeros of unmet need for contraception, teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions, preventable maternal deaths, and preventable neonatal/infant deaths.
University of Nairobi
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