Contraceptive adoption in the extended postpartum period is low in Northwest Ethiopia


Background: The extended postpartum period is a one year period after delivery which is critical for women to prevent unintended pregnancy and to reduce the risk of maternal and child mortality by ensuring safe birth intervals. Studies indicate that birth intervals of three to five years reduce maternal mortality and provide health benefits to newborn babies, infants, and children. As a result, assessing postpartum contraceptive use and its determinants are an increasingly important component of global health. The objectives of the study were to determine postpartum contraceptive use and identify the variables which affect postpartum contraceptive use among women of Dabat district.

Methods: All women aged 15 to 49 years who delivered a child between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 in the Debat district were interviewed by house-to- house survey.

Results: A total of 10.3 % of the mothers reported adopting contraception in the extended postpartum period. Women who delivered with the assistance of a skilled attendant [AOR = 1.88, 95 % CI (1.01-3.51)] and attended postnatal care services [AOR = 2.19, 95 % CI (1.06-4.52)] were more likely to use contraceptives. Secondary and above level of the husband’s education was also a variable that significantly affected postpartum contraceptive use [AOR = 2.98, 95 % CI (1.49-5.97)].

Conclusions: Contraceptive use in the extended postpartum period was found to be low placing women at risk for a pregnancy in the extended postpartum period. Advice about contraceptives during postnatal clinic visits was limited. Improving utilization of institutional delivery by a skilled attendant and enhancing postnatal care services are important to increase contraceptive use in the extended postpartum period.