Self-medication is an important part of daily self-care, without the supervision of health professionals. It is commonly practiced by pregnant women all over the world and may result in maternal and fetal risks. Hence, this study assessed self-medication practices and associated factors among pregnant women attending Kemisie General Hospital.
A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted using a structured questionnaire on pregnant women who were attending antenatal care at Kemisie General Hospital. A simple random sampling technique was employed to select the study participants. Descriptive and inferential statistics were computed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20.
Among 223 pregnant women, 60 (26.9%; 95% CI: 20.9%, 32.9%) and 111 (48.9%; 95% CI: 43%, 58%) practiced self-medication on conventional and herbal medicine, respectively. The predictors of self-medication of conventional medicine among pregnant women were prior experience to the drug (P-value: 0.00, AOR=126.04, 95% CI: 32.55–488.04) and no pervious history of abortion (P-value: 0.00, AOR=0.01,95% CI:0.002–0.04), while college educational level (P-value: 0.00, AOR=13.45,95%, CI: 3.58–50.5), history prior herbal medicine use (P-value: 0.00, AOR=9, 95% CI: 3.32–24.39), Ruta chalepensis (P-value:0.001,AOR=193.7,95% CI:8.64–4342.1) and Ocimum lamiifolium type of herb use (P-value: 0.004, AOR=12.72, 95% CI: 2.27–71.38), and 5–10km health facility distance (P-value:0.022, AOR=0.1, 95% CI: 0.01–0.73) were predictors for self-medication practice of herbal medicines among pregnant women.
Nearly one-third and two-third of pregnant women practiced self-medication on conventional and herbal medicine, respectively. Prior experience to the drug and no previous history of abortion associated with self-medication of conventional medicine, while college educational level, history prior herbal medicine use, Ruta chalepensis and, Ocimum lamiifolium type of herb use, and 5–10km distance were predictors for self-medication practice of herbal medicines. Improving health service coverage and awareness creation on rational medication use is recommended to prevent fetal and maternal risks.