Controlling malaria in pregnancy has been an important component of the millennium development goal and intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) is considered an important tool in controlling malaria among pregnant women. In this study, we evaluated the level of compliance to IPT use as well as its effect on malaria infection among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in south eastern Nigeria. Peripheral blood smears and placental histology were used as diagnostic tools to determine infection rate. Our data show that compliance to IPT use was poor (33%) when compared with non-compliance (67%). Infection rate was significantly lower among IPT users (39%) than in non-users (71%) (X(2) = 39·95; P<0·05). Maternal anaemia was also lower in IPT users (4%) than in non-users (18%). Taken together, IPT use appears to be important in reducing infection rate and maternal anaemia. Therefore, its adoption is highly recommended and this could be improved through public enlightenment campaign and adequate funding.