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Ann Afr Med. 2018 Oct-Dec;17(4):189-195. doi: 10.4103/aam.aam_60_17.

The role of traditional contraceptive methods in family planning among women attending primary health care centers in Kano.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bayero University Kano/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.
Community Health and Research Initiative, Nassarawa GRA, Kano, Nigeria.


in English, French


Traditional contraceptive methods (TCMs) have been used by our ancestors for a long time in child spacing before the advent of the modern contraceptive methods but even with the introduction of the modern methods some women prefer and are still using TCMs.


The aim of this study was to assess the utilization of traditional contraceptives in child spacing and its association with family size among women of child-bearing age attending primary healthcare centers in Kano.

Materials and Methods:

This was a cross-sectional study among 400 women attending primary healthcare centers in Kano. Their sociodemographic characteristics, number of children, knowledge, and use of traditional contraceptives were recorded on a pretested questionnaire.


The mean age ± standard deviation (SD) was 29.1 ± 6.22 years. The mean number of children (±SD) was 3.9 ± 2.27. A total number of 280 (70.0%) participants knew about TCMs, but only 147 (36.8%) used these methods and among those that used TCMs, herbal medicine was the most used method (n = 67, 45.6%). There was no statistically significant difference between the mean number of children of the respondents who used traditional contraceptives and those who did not (t = 0.382, df = 398, P = 0.703, 95% confidence interval:-0.374-0.555). Educational status was significantly associated with the use of traditional contraceptives (χ2 = 8.327, P = 0.005).


There was more knowledge of traditional than modern contraceptive methods. Herbal medicine was the most commonly used method. There was poor utilization of the modern contraceptive methods and fair utilization of the TCMs. The study showed no clear benefit of traditional contraceptive usage over its nonuse in reducing family size.


Family planning; role; traditional contraceptive methods

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