Levels and determinants of unmet need for contraception among Kurdish women in Mahabad, Iran

Hatam Hosseini, Bu-Ali Sina University
Amir Erfani, Nipissing University
Balal Bagi, Bu-Ali Sina University

The changes in the concept of unmet need for family planning over time have led to inconsistent results across surveys. In a recent attempt, the MEASURE DHS program revised the definition of unmet need. Applying the revised and original definitions, this study measures the unmet needs for family planning in a representative sample of 700 Kurdish married women at the reproductive ages, interviewed in the 2012 Mahabad Fertility Survey (MFS) in Iran. Based on the revised definition, 10.8 percent of women faced an unmet need for family planning, including 7.7 percent for birth spacing and 3.1 percent for birth stopping proposes. The corresponding estimates for the original definition were respectively 9.6, 6.0 and 3.6 percent. Also, about 10 percent of women who used traditional contraceptive methods, largely withdrawal, wished to use modern methods. Taking into account this unmet need for modern methods, we estimate an overall 20.8 percent of unmet needs for family planning in the city of Mahabad based on the revised definition that is 1.3 percent more than the estimate based on the original definition. According to this study, women’s fear of side effects of contraceptive devices has the largest contribution in their no use of contraception. Results of multivariate analysis shows that costs associated with social and familial opposition, women’s autonomy, and childbearing desires, have been effective in projection of probability of having unmet need for contraception. Based on these results, in order to meet women’s demand for family planning, it is necessary that in addition to continuation of family planning program and improvement in the quality of services, sociocultural costs associated with the use of contraceptive devices reduced by improving in women’s status.

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Presented in Session 82: Contraceptive use in low and middle income countries