Sexual Activity, Knowledge of Contraceptives Use among Females Choosing Termination of Pregnancy at a Provincial Clinic in South Africa

  •  Charity C Mazuba    
  •  Kefiloe A Maboe    
  •  Annalie D H Botha    


This study investigated sexual activity, knowledge of contraceptives use among females choosing termination of pregnancy (TOP) at a provincial clinic in South Africa.

This was a quantitative and observational study in the form of a cross-sectional survey. A pre-tested self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 61 respondents who had terminated their pregnancies. Almost ninety-two (91.8%) percent of the respondents were single women between 18 and 27 years of age. Their level of education showed that 32% had completed high school, 28% were high school learners, 21.1% were tertiary education level learners and 1.8% had tertiary education. The frequency of sexual activity was mostly once a month (40%), followed by once a week (36.5%). Unemployment was high (36%), making the respondents dependent on government grants. Most of the women were aware of contraceptives methods (88.5%). The majority of the respondents (75.4%) have heard about emergency contraceptives (EC), while only 11.5% had never heard of contraceptives in general. The condom was the most popular method (54.1%), followed by the injection (45.9%). However, although 88.5% and 75.4% have heard of emergency contraceptives, their knowledge of contraceptives in general was very low. Contraceptives were used by 78.6% before termination of their pregnancy (TOP) and the most frequently used method was the injection at 36.6%. The respondents were the initiators of TOP.

The researchers recommended that awareness of contraceptives should be promoted, and programmes aimed at changing the behaviour of sexually active females should be designed in order for them to make use of reproductive health services and family planning. Continuous education on sexual activities and contraceptives needs to be given to women visiting a reproductive health clinic. Policymakers should facilitate access to modern contraceptives and promote their effectiveness in all disadvantaged communities, thus addressing the root cause of the termination of unplanned pregnancies.

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