Background: Antenatal health care visit and the use of contraceptives are important issues in maternal and child well-being. However, there is paucity of research on the changes in contraceptive use among postpartum women who are regularly exposed to contraceptive education and counselling during attendance at antenatal clinics and the factors contributing to these changes in contraceptive behaviour. Therefore, the aim of this study is to track the changes in contraceptive use among postpartum women who visit antenatal clinics in Ghana using a national representative cross-sectional survey 2003 to 2014 and to discuss the factors contributing to these changes.
Methods: The study used three rounds of the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2003, 2008 and 2014. Postpartum women in their reproductive ages 15-49 who had given birth within the last 0-23 months were selected for this study. Binary logistic regression model was used to examine the influence of antenatal visits and socio-demographic factors on modern contraceptive use over the years.
Results: Results suggest that increased in modern contraceptive use was positively correlated with women visiting antenatal health care centres four or more times and women residing in urban areas but negatively correlated with increasing age, no education and married women.
Conclusion: In Ghana utilisation of maternal health care services has the ability to influence high contraceptive use among postpartum women. However, demographic, social and economic factors have influenced changes in contraceptive use among women in Ghana and must also be taken into a consideration in policy formulation.
Keywords: Antenatal visit, Contraceptive use, Ghana, Health, Postpartum women