Back to Annual Meeting
Back to Annual Meeting
APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Unmet need for Contraception in the Developing World: Levels and Reasons

Gilda Sedgh, ScD1, Akinrinola Bankole, PhD1, Susheela Singh, PhD2, and Rubina Hussain1. (1) Research, Guttmacher Institute, 120 wall street, 21st floor, new york, NY 10005, 212-248-1111, gsedgh@guttmacher.org, (2) The Guttmacher Institute, 120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005

Abstract Unintended pregnancy is associated with numerous reproductive health problems in the developing world, and it is often the result of an unmet need for contraception. Women who do not want a child soon or at all, who are sexually active, fecund and not using contraception are considered to have an unmet need. While national estimates of unmet need are available, differences in levels of unmet need between demographic and socio-economic subgroups of women are not well characterized. Additionally, little is known about the reasons why women with unmet need do not use family planning; why those who used a method in the past decided to discontinue use; or why those who intend to use a method are not yet doing so. Using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys, we analyze data from 50 countries to identify those with the highest levels of unmet need, the population groups in these countries with disproportionately high levels of unmet need and the reasons why women with unmet need are not using contraception. Preliminary results show a wide range in levels of unmet need across countries, with 5-40% of married women having an unmet need. On average, unmet need is higher in sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions of the world. Women with an unmet need for family planning commonly cite concerns about side effects, the belief that they are not at risk of getting pregnant and their own or their partners' opposition to contraception as reasons for not using family planning.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learning objectives