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Unintended pregnancy and barriers to contraceptive use : perspectives of university students in Lesotho.

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Unintended pregnancy has been the subject of considerable research in Lesotho. Lack of priority placed on young people’s sexuality and reproductive health was found to be a major factor exacerbating the rate of unintended pregnancy in the country. The study draws on qualitative data collected from in-depth interviews with university students in Lesotho. In total, 15 in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 women and 5 men. The findings of the study show that unsafe sex coupled with low contraceptive use are the leading causes of unintended pregnancy among young women in Lesotho. Evidence suggests that even though contraceptive prevalence is noticeably low, modern contraceptive methods have a greater potential than other means for reducing the prevalence of unintended pregnancy. The findings of the study also suggest that there is a considerable gender differences in sexual behaviour; males are more likely than females to experience earlier sexual onset, have more sexual partners and to practise unsafe sex. This study recommends that increasing contraceptive prevalence among young people will lead to better reproductive health outcomes. The study also suggests that family planning services should be more male friendly because men play a major role in decision making, and have a great influence on their partners’ decisions to use contraceptives.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2011.


Pregnancy--Lesotho--Planning., Contraception--Lesotho--Planning., Students--Conduct of life--Lesotho., Students--Sexual behaviour--Lesotho., Birth control--Lesotho., Theses--Population studies.