Factors influencing contraceptive use among female youth aged 15-24 years in Kenya
Despite high sexual activity among female youth in Kenya, contraceptive uptake is very low. Among all sexually active young females aged 15-19, only about 26 percent are currently using a contraceptive and among those aged 20-24, only about 35 percent are using a contraceptive. This risky behaviour exposes them to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, leading to various adverse consequences including unsafe abortion, school dropout and lack of employment opportunities. The main objective of the study was to determine the factors that influence contraceptive use among female youth aged 15-24 years in Kenya and specifically to determine the socio-economic, socio-cultural and demographic factors that influence coritraceptive use among female youth in Kenya. The study utilised data from the 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey. AjzenFishbein (1980) Model was used to conceptualize the study. The study utilised univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis. In univariate analysis, frequency distributions were presented to show the distribution of the study population by background characteristics. In bivariate analysis, cross tabulations were used to measure the association between the dependent and independent variables while Chi square values were used to test the significance of the association between the dependent and independent variables. In multivariate analysis, logistic regression was used to analyze the effect of the explanatory variables on the dependent variable. The results of the study revealed that region of residence, education, wealth index, age, and marital status were found to be significant factors influencing use of contraceptives. In addition, age at first birth, fertility preference and respondent's approval of family planning were also found to influence contraceptive use among female youth in Kenya. The study recommended introduction of reproductive health programmes in the education sector. These programmes should not only focus on educating those in school, but should also aim to reach those in the communities around. The study recommended further research on why female youth with primary education are more likely to use contraceptives than those with secondary education and above. In addition, further research should focus on why Muslims are more likely to use contraceptives than the Catholics. Further research should also focus on contraceptive use among male youth and the factors that influence their uptake of contraceptives.