Understanding adolescent perspectives on fertility control during Covid-19

  • Siphiwe Sakala University of Lusaka, School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Keywords: Adolescents, fertility control, covid-19 pandemic, contraceptive use, sexual behaviours


Background: This study investigates adolescents' perspectives on fertility control strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic in the urban township of Lusaka District. The background highlights existing challenges, such as high HIV rates and teenage birth rates. The research adopts a mixed-methods approach, utilizing in-depth interviews and structured questionnaires. The study involves 20 adolescents and 5 healthcare workers for qualitative data and 130 adolescents aged 13-24 for quantitative data, selected through purposive and convenience sampling. Results: The findings reveal that a majority of participants are sexually active, using contraceptives, with a noteworthy proportion experiencing pregnancies despite contraceptive use. Vaccination status is linked to contraceptive use. Factors such as social support, economic support, spiritual/religious influence, self-efficacy, and assertiveness in sexual situations significantly influence the inclination to abstain from sexual intercourse. Higher education and older age are associated with increased contraceptive use. Some participants report being affected by COVID-19, citing challenges like condom shortages, strict measures, and fear of infection. Healthcare workers note the pandemic's impact on contraceptive accessibility, contributing to a surge in unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among young people. Conclusion: The study concludes by emphasizing the necessity of enhancing contraceptive access and promoting safer sex practices, particularly targeting less-educated individuals, those with limited economic and social support, and younger demographics.