Prevalence and predictors of long-acting reversible contraceptive use among sexually active women in 26 sub-Saharan African countries

Obasanjo Afolabi BOLARINWA*, Ugochinyere Ijeoma NWAGBARA, Joshua OKYERE, Bright Opoku AHINKORAH, Abdul Aziz SEIDU, Edward Kwabena AMEYAW, Victor IGHARO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are associated with high efficacy rates and continuity of use. Based on the foregoing, we sought to examine the prevalence and factors associated with LARC use among sexually active women in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa(SSA). 

Methods: Secondary data from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 26 countries in SSA between January 2010 and December 2019 were pooled and analysed. A total of 56 067 sexually active women 15-49 y of age met the inclusion criteria. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to examine the association between selected factors and the use of LARCs in SSA. Results were presented as crude odds ratios and adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with statistical precision at <0.05. 

Results: The prevalence of LARC use was 21.73%, ranging from 1.94% in Namibia to 54.96% in Benin. Sexually active women with secondary or higher education (aOR 1.19 [95% confidence interval {CI} 1.08 to 1.32]), those cohabiting (aOR 1.25 [95% CI 1.06 to 1.47]) and those with four or more children (aOR 2.22 [95% CI 1.78 to 2.78]) were more likely to use LARCs compared with those without education, never married and with no biological child. 

Conclusions: The use of LARCs in the 26 countries in SSA was relatively low. Hence, the identified contributory factors of LARC use should be tackled with appropriate interventions. These include continuous campaigns on the efficacy of LARCs in reducing unintended pregnancy, maternal mortality and morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-500
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Health
Issue number5
Early online date18 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


  • contraceptive
  • long-acting reversible
  • predictors
  • public health
  • sexually active women
  • sub-Saharan African


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