Published: 2018-10-25

A study to assess unmet need for family planning and contraceptive choices among married women of reproductive age in rural Madhya Pradesh

Aarti Sahasrabuddhe, Sangeeta Kori, V. K. Arora, Jayashri Bute


Background: The unmet need of family planning refers to the gap between reproduction intention of a couple and their contraceptive behavior. According to NFHS-4 the unmet need for family planning is 12.9 in India. The objectives of the study were to assess the unmet need for family planning and to find out the contraceptive choices among married women.

Methods: This cross sectional study was undertaken in the rural field practice area of Department of Community Medicine, Index Medical College, Indore, from October 2016 to March 2017. Total sample size calculated was 640. Systematic random sampling was used to select eligible couple a pretested, semi-structured questionnaire was administered to women of reproductive age (15-49 year) in local Hindi language after taking consent.

Results: Out of 640 participants 39 (6.1%) were desiring pregnancy, 454 (70.9%) using contraceptives while 147 (23%) had unmet need and among them 74 (11.6%) for limiting while 73 (11.4%) for spacing. Unmet need was found more in age group of 15-24 (35%), Muslims (48.6%), illiterates (45.9%), housewives (24.4%) and in poor socioeconomic status (53.4%). Overall contraceptive use was 70.9% and tubectomy (60.8%) was the most preferred method followed by male condom and OCP. Unmet need was higher among those who were not having male child (p=0.00, X2=42.2).The main reasons for not using contraception was identified as family interference and cultural as well as religious restrictions.

Conclusions: The study conclude that still there is need to create awareness regarding importance of spacing method as well as limiting methods and to clear the myths regarding contraceptives not only in young couples but also in other family members.


Unmet need, Family planning, Contraceptive choices, Married women

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