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Role of sociocultural beliefs/norms on level of access and uptake of contraceptives among unmarried adolescent girls in Nigeria: a systematic review study

MOJ Public Health
Taiwo Adewale Ogundiran,1 Masoud Mohammadnezhad,2 Ayobami Ibrahim Ogundiran,3 Hauwa’u Mohammed1


Despite widespread awareness of the importance of contraceptive use in Nigeria, unintended pregnancies persist among adolescent girls, leading to events of unsafe abortion, sexually transmitted infections, maternal mortality, and disruptions to education and career, consequently resulting in economic hardships. Negative sociocultural beliefs and attitude serves as a deterrent for girls seeking contraceptives services in Nigeria. This study aimed to determine and describe how sociocultural beliefs and attitudes affect access and usage of contraceptive among unmarried adolescent Nigerian girls. This study employs a secondary research approach following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO, and CIHNAL were searched using relevant keywords to achieve and review studies that meet predefined criteria. Quality assessment of selected articles was done using the Critical Appraisal Skill Programme (CASP) and Mix Methods Appraisal Tools (MMAT) for qualitative and quantitative articles, respectively. Each selected article was synthesized thematically to identify patterns relevant to the research question. Thematic analysis revealed four sociocultural beliefs influencing contraceptive uptake among unmarried adolescent girls in Nigeria. Society’s stigmatization of females for pregnancy prevention limits their freedom to access contraceptive services. Other factors include beliefs about sex and age, protective education, and societal intolerance for discussions about sex with adolescents. The study highlights the societal influence on
contraceptive decisions for adolescent girls in Nigeria. Girls in need of contraceptives struggle with societal stigmatization perpetuated by beliefs
that adolescent girls should abstain from sex until after marriage, which unfortunately does not align with current trends in sexual relationships among adolescents in Nigeria. it is therefore important to shift societal perspective about adolescent sexuality needs and promote the economic and lifelong benefits of preventing unplanned pregnancies through a multisectoral collaboration.


socio-cultural beliefs/attitude, contraceptive, birth control, adolescent girls, Nigeria