THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF CONTRACEPTION AMONG MALE ADOLESCENT STUDENTS OF COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
The Oxford Advanced Learners dictionary of current English defines “Contraceptives as a drug, a practice instrument used to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant.” 1 This definition embraces well but does not include its use as a preventative measure against the spread sexually transmitted infections. diseases; like AIDS / HIV. The act of contraception has been an ancient practice even of our ancestors who conceived the moment of mating with their wives or not according to whether they want to make babies. They have a mental picture of when their women’s menstrual cycle occurs or how long their women have to breastfeed their babies to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Some traditional women even make the extra effort of wearing waistband contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Every year, women around the world suffer 75 million unwanted pregnancies. An unwanted pregnancy can occur for two main reasons; either the couple did not use contraceptives, or the method used failed. There are many reasons why people do not use contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies, including lack of access to family planning information and services; incest or rape; personal or religious beliefs; insufficient knowledge of the risks of pregnancy due to unprotected sex; and the limited capacity of women to make decisions about sexual relations and contraceptive use.2 Many women are deprived of family planning services.
Contraceptive use by men and women has been accepted and widely practiced in the developed world. This has not been the case in the developing world where the chauvinistic cultural belief of men that women should protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies; instead of men also allowing the use of contraceptives. Caring for children is the combined effort of men and women, but in the developing world; it is considered a primary function of the feminine gender. This is why contraceptive use in men in these areas has not been promoted as female contraceptives. The patriarchal nature of African society does not seem to help or encourage male contraception but rather to make men believe that they have no role to play in reproductive health.
In the developed world, the populace has invaded persistent myths and men’s negative attitudes towards contraception. However, the fact that male contraception in underdeveloped countries has not been promoted has led to the scarcity of information on this subject and has also reduced the search for knowledge in this area. Studies show that men want access to better contraceptives. In a recent study of British men, 80% put a hypothetical male pill among the top three contraceptive choices (Brooks, 1988). 3 Another study found that in Germany, Spain, Brazil and Mexico, more 60% of men were willing to use a new method of male contraception (Heinemaan, 2006) .4 In another study, “Why is Nigeria looking for abortion? group discussions “where were the young people asked about the availability of contraception, the perceived benefits of the method used, the side effects and the reasons why young people do not use or use contraceptives? Fear of future infertility has been found to be a major factor in adolescents’ decisions to rely on induced abortion rather than contraception.
Methods of Contraception – are more in the female gender than the male.
Those of the female include:
The Combined Pill: These are oral contraceptives which are eniphasic and biphasic pills, Everyday /Ed pills. They are 99% effective when properly taken. They contain two hormones – estrogen and progistogen, and acts by preventing ovulation when taken regularly.
Mini Pill: Progestogen pill only. Its 98% effective when taken properly and regularly any day at the same time. It causes changes in the womb which makes it difficult for the sperm to enter the womb.
Injectable Contraceptives: They include Depo-provera and Noristerat. Its effective to 99% of cases. It also stops ovulation by acting in a similar way to the mini pill. It provides protection for up to 3 months longer. It may cause irregularity in her periods and break through bleeding.
Intra Uterine Device: Its 96 – 99% effective. It’s a plastic device or with copper inserted into the womb by the doctor and it prevents the ovum or egg from settling in the womb.
Diaphragm or Cap: Its 85-97% effective with careful use. It is a soft rubber device put into the vagina before intercourse, to cover the cervix, and form a barrier which prevents sperm from meeting the egg. It must be used with a spermicide and left in place for six hours after intercourse.
Sponge: It is 75 – 91% effective, with careful use. It’s a soft circular polyenthrane foam sponge, put into the vagina up to 24 hours before intercourse, to cover the cervix. It already contains a spermicide.
Female Sterilization: It’s a permanent method of birth control in which the fallopian tubes are closed so that the egg cannot travel down than to meet the sperm. Its effective for life but has occasional failure rate of 1:300 where the tube rejion and fertility returns.
Natural Methods (‘Safe Period’ ‘Rhythm method’). Its 85 – 95% effective. It aims to predict ovulation when the woman is most fertile intercourse is avoided at this time. This symptom-thermal method requires daily recording of body temperature, noting changes in vaginal nuclear and other signs of ovulation.
The male contraceptive measures include:
a. Condom: It is effective in 85 – 98% of cases with careful use. Its made up of a thin rubber and worn on an erect penis. It prevents sperm from entering the woman. It protects both partners against sexually transmitted diseases and also protects the woman against cancer of the cervix.
b. Male Sterilization (Vasectomy): It’s a permanent method which involves the cutting or blocking of the tubes that carry sperm from the testes (vas deferens) to the penis. It is a permanent method of contraception like the tubal ligation in females. Another method of contraception needs to be used for about 3 months after vasectomy so as to clear the whole sperm from the tube. Occasional failure of this method occurs in 1:100 cases.
c. Withdrawal Method: This method is usually not effective but its practiced by some own. They withdraw the penis before ejaculation takes place during orgasm. Its not effective because it does not take care of sperm which are passed into the vagina before orgasm takes place.
Emergency Contraception: This is method of preventing pregnancy after having unprotected sexual intercourse or if you had a contraceptive accident or misuse (such as condom breakage, failed coitus interruptus) and in case of rape. There are two common methods which can be used in emergency contraception:
a. Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)
b. Copper intra-uterine device (IUDs). These two methods must be used within few days of unprotected sexual intercourse. They are safe for most women. The ECPs contain the same hormones used in family planning pills but are used differently. They either stop the release of the egg or prevent fertilization of an egg. The IUDs immobilize sperms, slow down sperm movement, prevent fertilization of the egg and cause changes in the uterine lining which prevent pregnancy.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
It is true that sex education in most of our homes is poor, with the belief that sex education will make the student promiscuous or test what they have learned. But we all know that our society has invaded such a belief, and they will always have coitus, whether they are educated or not. They will always be influenced by their peer groups and those who are not yet exposed will learn the act in a negative way. However, it is now up to adults to educate the group of adolescents or young adults about what the reproductive organs represent, the use of contraceptives to reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancies, or even infections in the reproductive system. The need for this study is to encourage parents and school authorities to educate our younger generations to be well equipped with family planning. The failure of this process will lead to an increase in the number of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and an undue increase in the population in society.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Over the years, especially in Africa, the need for contraception and control of the population using female methods of the pill, injectables, etc. has been adapted. So far, only the condom and withdrawal method has been used by men. The growing need for male contraception can not be overstated, as humans are more aware of the need for greater cooperation between spouses to ensure that family and reproductive health develops and flourishes; with greater understanding that all participants will contribute their quota to the success of the family.
To this extent, there is therefore a desperate need for a study of this nature to identify contraceptive devices that can be used now, knowledge of their use, how adolescents adhere to their use, to educate them so that they can have a good start in their understanding of choosing when to have children and when not to do so. This is done with the wisdom that a good start when well fed will bring a good end.
This study will give us an overview of the perception or knowledge, the usage or practice of contraception among these adolescent which will again enable us to educate them on what good practice of family or reproductive health should be. This will translate into a better moral upbringing of the society around us.
On-Going Research: There are many ongoing research projects into different methods of male contraception. Researchers are optimistic that a safe, effective method of male contraceptive will eventually become a reality, although this is still several years away.
The two main areas of research into male contraception include:
a. Hormonal Contraception – where synthetic hormones are used to temporarily stop the development of healthy sperm.
b. Non–Hormonal Methods – where other techniques are used to stop healthy sperm from entering a women’s vagina.
1.4 GENERAL OBJECTIVE
The objective of this study was to determine the level of awareness of male on contraceptive measures with a view to improving this knowledge and increasing their compliance to the usage. This will help us in educating them on how to prevent early pregnancies and its negative effects and or infections to their young reproductive organs which may lead to secondary infertility in later life.
1.5 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE
1. To assess the knowledge of male students of Federal College of Education Technical Asaba on contraception.
2. To determine the practice of male contraception among the students.
3. To assess the factors that influences the use of these contraceptives among male students