Adolescent Fertility and Contraceptive Use in Northern Ghana: A Mixed Methods Study

Elizabeth F. Jackson, Columbia University
Allison Stone, Columbia University
Margaret Schmitt, Columbia University
Fabian Achana, Navrongo Health Research Centre
Ayaga A. Bawah, Columbia University
Patrick Asuming, Columbia University
John Koku Awoonor-Williams, Ghana Health Service
James F. Phillips, Columbia University

Despite a burgeoning youth population in Ghana, reproductive health programming targeting adolescents remains limited. This study utilizes a mixed methods approach to better understand factors associated with adolescent pregnancy and contraceptive use in Ghana’s Upper East Region (UER). Findings from survey data assess the determinants of teen pregnancy and contraceptive use among adolescent women. Qualitative data from interviews with health workers provide context of the health system in which teens seek contraceptive services. Results show a strong association between ever having been pregnant and ever use of contraception, suggesting that teens may seek contraception primarily after giving birth. Qualitative data demonstrate a context of adolescent “unfriendly” contraceptive services. Furthermore, quantitative data indicates that geographic proximity to health services has no impact whatsoever on adolescent contraceptive use. These findings confirm there is a significant need to introduce adolescent-friendly contraceptive services to the health system of the UER.

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Presented in Session 13: Contextual Influences on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health