Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medicine (MMed)

First Supervisor/Advisor


Second Supervisor/Advisor



Family Medicine (East Africa)



Family planning contributes an important role in prevention of unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, maternal and child mortality. One of the methods used is an IUCD that help in preventing unintended pregnancy. Un intended pregnancy is a public he alth concern worldwide among younger women, resulting into unsafe abortion. Preventing unintended pregnancies in youth is crucial yet challenging. Few studies have addressed the problem of the low utilization of IUCD among university students. This group is overwhelmed with physiological, social, and economic issues in relation to reproductive health especially on family planning accessibility and use. Gap of knowledge and skills among providers in implementing such services to them has been noted. Despite many recommendations, the uptake of IUCD is relatively low and fewer adolescents and youths are using them.


Currently there is less focus on reporting factors that influence or inhibit the use of IUCD among young sexually active nulliparo us women, who would like to avoid unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions which could lead to disruption in career and university dropouts. Despite of its effectiveness compared to other methods, the rate of IUCD’s utilization remains low. Limited data that is available has explored more on postpartum group, leaving behind nulliparous group especially at younger age. Hence, more studies are required to identify local determinants in terms of their socio economic and social cultural experiences.

Objective: To explore barriers of IUCD uptake among sexually active nulliparous university students (18-24) years at the main campus of University of Dar-es-salaam.


Qualitative descriptive study using in depth individual interviews at the main Campus of University of Dar-es-salaam from September 2022 to January 2023. Inclusion criteria: Sexually active nulliparous university students (18-24) years, who were able to give consent. Exclusion: Medical university students. In depth, individual interview was used and involved 10 students which were adequate for Thematic saturation. The number was discussed by the research team (The researcher, principal investigator, and supervisors) after each batch of two interviews and a decision was made to stop at 10 based on the thematic saturation. Purposeful sampling, data was collected using an interview guide and was analyzed using content analysis.


IUCD-specific knowledge remained as a main barrier to the use, followed by misconceptions and misperceptions, with both users and non-users exhibit lack of information on this method. Social groups influenced the exaggeration of side effects and spread of myths.


Findings obtained from this study show that to have a general knowledge on contraception does not mean that people are aware of each method and their benefits. Therefore, family planning campaigns and strategies should look beyond the individual to social network or groups to remove these barriers.