Condom is still king among unmarried women in Kenya, Health survey shows

Condom as a form of contraception is highly popular among unmarried Kenyan women. [File, Standard]

Two out of every ten (20 per cent of) sexually active unmarried women in Kenya prefer the use of male condoms during sexual intercourse, the 2022 Demographic and Health Survey released on Tuesday, July 17 shows.

Injectables follow at 16 per cent and implants at 11 per cent, the report says.

The survey was done among women aged between 15 to 49 years old.

Seven out of every ten unmarried women in the same age bracket use at least one form of contraception.

Fifty-seven (57) per cent of the surveyed women said they used modern contraceptive methods.

As per the report, modern methods include male and female sterilisation, injectables, intrauterine devices (IUDs), contraceptive pills, implants, female and male condoms, emergency contraception, the standard days method, and the lactational amenorrhea method.

The report further said that traditional methods of contraception were more popular among unmarried women (11 per cent) compared to their married counterparts (6 per cent).

Traditional methods include periodic abstinence of any kind and withdrawal.

Unlike their unmarried counterparts, who prefer condom as a method of contraception, married women prefer injectables (20 per cent), implants (19 per cent) and contraceptive pills (8 per cent).

The percentage of married women using a modern contraceptive method is lowest in Mandera (2 per cent), followed by Wajir (3 per cent), Marsabit (6 per cent), and Garissa (11 per cent), with Embu (82 per cent) recording the highest.

Sixty-three (63) per cent of the married women in Kenya are using at least one form of contraception.

The report also indicated that both urban and rural Kenyan women use contraceptives at almost equal levels, with urban women at 63.1 per cent and rural women at 62.2 per cent.

The survey also showed that the more educated and richer a Kenyan woman is, the likelier she’d be on contraception.

“If all women who said they want to space or limit their children were to use family planning methods, the contraceptive prevalence rate would increase from 62 per cent to 76 per cent among currently married women and from 70 per cent to 89 per cent among sexually active unmarried women,” said the report.

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