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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 863 - 867

Use of Contraceptives, Menstrual History and Weight Gain among University and Secondary School Adolescents in Abia State, Nigeria

J.U. Anyika, A.C. Uwaegbute, I.A. Onimawo and C.A. Echendu    

Abstract: This cross-sectional survey evaluated the effect of contraceptives on menstrual cycle, menstrual flow and weight gain of adolescent female secondary and university students in Abia State, Nigeria. One thousand, six hundred (1600) adolescents aged 10 to 19 years were used for the study. Two secondary schools and two universities [(one secondary school/university from each Local Government Area (LGA)] were randomly selected. A structured self-administered questionnaire designed to collect information on health habits of adolescent girls was given to respondents in their schools. Information gathered from the questionnaires was coded and analyzed using the computer program Statistical Software package (SAS). Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were used. Results showed that majority (70.5% vs 58.75%) of adolescent university and secondary school girls, respectively described their menstrual cycle as regular (every month). A wide variety of contraceptives namely abstinence, safe period, intrauterine devices, vaginal jellies and creams and oral contraceptives were used by the students. Majority (60.97% vs 48.74%) of the subjects in the university and secondary school respectively reported that the contraceptives they used had no effect on their menstrual flow. Almost equal percentage of respondents (33.92% vs 33.49%) of the secondary school and university adolescents respectively reported that their menstrual cycle was regular every time. The study showed that abstinence and safe period were the most commonly used birth control methods by both secondary and university adolescent girls in Abia State, Nigeria.

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