The prevalence of contraceptive use is still very low in Nigeria and the intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) is a common long term and reversible method of family planning. A ten year retrospective study of IUCD acceptors at the family planning clinic of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi was carried out. The socio-demographic characteristics, side effects/complications, duration of use, and reasons for discontinuation were analyzed. There were 861 IUCD acceptors among 1345 family planning clients giving the IUCD acceptance rate of 64.1%. Also 36.8% had used it previously. The mean age and number of living children were 30.7±5.7 years and 4.2±1.9 respectively. Both the mean age of the limiters (34.5 vs 29.0 years) and their number of living children (6.0 vs 3.5) were significantly higher than those for spacers (p=0.00). Almost all the clients were married, majority (89.3%) had secondary and or tertiary education and 70.2% were spacers. The mean duration of use was 3.1±1.9 years. Most of the clients (82.4%) did not experience any side effect/complication. The common side effects/complications were vaginal discharge (7.7%), menorrhagia (1.9%), and missing IUCD (1.9%). In multivariate analysis the duration of use correlated positively with the number of living children (p=0.00) while age had no effect on the duration of use (p=0.025). Clients with secondary and or tertiary education reported side effects more than those with lesser level of education. The desire for pregnancy (36%) was the commonest reason for its discontinuation and the average discontinuation rate was 55.1%. The contraceptive prevalence in relation to the number of deliveries within the study period was low (12.4%). There is great need to intensify motivation and health education on the availability and benefits of IUCD. Also provision of free commodity and services shall improve its utilization and promote maternal health.
Key words: Family planning, IUCD, utilization.
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