Published: 2021-06-28

The knowledge and use of misoprostol among women in a Nigerian population

Abidoye Gbadegesin, Ayokunle Olumodeji, Yusuf A. Oshodi, Oladimeji Makinde, Haleemah Olalere, Boniface A. Oye-Adeniran


Background: Increasing the availability and accessibility of misoprostol in low resource settings has been advocated to reduce maternal deaths from primary postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). WHO recommends a strategy of antenatal distribution of misoprostol to pregnant women, for self-administration for the prevention of PPH, in settings where women are likely to give birth outside of a health facility or in the absence of skilled health personnel. The success of such strategies depends on the current knowledge and acceptability of misoprostol among women in such population. The aim of this study was that we assessed the knowledge and use of misoprostol among Nigerian women.

Methods: It was a prospective cross-sectional population based survey in which 16445 consenting women, from randomly selected households and communities across the 20 local government areas (LGA) of Lagos state, had in-depth interview with the aid of an interviewer administered structured questionnaire to assess their knowledge and use of misoprostol. Data obtained were presented in frequency and proportions.

Results: Thirteen per cent and 6.5% of the respondents were aware of drugs that could be used to terminate pregnancy and stop bleeding following childbirth, respectively. Only 5.2% of the women were aware of misoprostol, two-third (67%) of which knew it could be used to terminate pregnancy and 5% of women aware of misoprostol knew it could be used to reduce or stop bleeding following childbirth. Only 2.3% of the entire study population admitted to personal use of misoprostol.

Conclusions: Knowledge about the safe, life-saving and effective use of misoprostol among Nigerian women is low. There is need to disseminate information about misoprostol especially in settings where women are likely to give birth outside of a health facility or in the absence of skilled health personnel.



Misoprostol, Cytotec, Misoprostol use

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