Original Research

Emergency contraception amongst female college students – knowledge, attitude and practice

Wendwosen T. Nibabe, Tennyson Mgutshini
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 6, No 1 | a538 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v6i1.538 | © 2014 Wendwosen T. Nibabe, Tennyson Mgutshini | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 March 2013 | Published: 19 March 2014

About the author(s)

Wendwosen T. Nibabe, Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Ethiopia
Tennyson Mgutshini, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa


Background: Unwanted teenage pregnancies have a notable detrimental impact on the learners’ trajectory and have been associated with jeopardising the students’ educational progress and future career prospects. These pregnancies are mostly unplanned and unintended and many are terminated, either legally or illegally.

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the contributory role played by the knowledge, attitude and practices of female college students with respect to the utilisation of emergency contraceptives.

Setting: Three tertiary institutions in Dessie, Ethiopia.

Methods: Quantitative self-administered questionnaires were used to collect descriptive data from 352 female college students.

Results: The study revealed that there was a high percentage (78.3%) of unwanted pregnancies amongst those engaging in sex. Significantly, nearly half (43.3%) of these unwanted pregnancies resulted in abortion. Only 10% of the students sampled admitted to ever having used emergency contraception. Even though more than half (69.9%) of the students knew about emergency contraception, only 27% of them felt confident that they understood when it was most effective.

Conclusion: These and other observed findings confirm the need for improvement of female college students’ knowledge and timely utilisation of emergency contraception.


Emergency Contraceptives, Health Behaviour, College sexual health, Attitudes.


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Crossref Citations

1. Contraceptive choice and decision‐making among college students in a Southeastern US state
Clare Kimiecik, Sarah B. Maness, Beth Sundstrom
Reproductive, Female and Child Health  vol: 3  issue: 1  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1002/rfc2.76