Determinants of contraceptive use among young women in Lesotho.
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The study is titled 'Determinants of contraceptive use among young women in Lesotho'. Caldwell and Caldwell (2002:80) assert, "The most serious problem with existing subSaharan family planning programs is their neglect at adolescents' needs". The main objective of the study is to investigate factors influencing the use of modern contraceptives among young women (15-24 years old) in Lesotho and to contribute towards improvements in health care services for adolescents. The study will examine the levels of contraceptive use among young people in Lesotho, and explore social and demographic factors that promote contraceptive use. The study is based on the data from 2004 Lesotho Demographic and Health Survey which is a representative sample. The study showed that young people have high knowledge of modern methods of contraceptive (knowledge ranked up to 91 percent) however use of methods is lower (ranked up to 44 percent). Traditional methods were the least known except for withdrawal which had a plausible percentage (64.7 percent). Most of sexually active young people have ever used contraceptives and injectables were the leading method while condoms were the most generally known. The study also showed that contraceptive use increases with age, level of education, wealth and discussion of family planning with partner. Results of the logistic regression analysis, however, showed unexpected results where adolescents' from the rural areas had a higher likelihood of using contraceptives than those from urban areas. Married young women had a high level of contraceptive use than those never married. Socio-cultural context hinders the establishment of reproductive programs on adolescents as their sexuality is attached to marriage and childbearing. It was recommended that intensive programs informing young people about their reproductive decision-making is needed.