Indian J Med Res. 2015 Jan;141(1):115-8.

Unmet need for contraception among married women in an urban area of Puducherry, India

Sulthana B, Shewade HD, Sunderamurthy B, Manoharan K and Subramanian M


Background & objectives: Unmet need for contraception remains a national problem. The study was conducted in an urban area of Puducherry, India, among the eligible couples to assess the unmet need for contraception and to determine the awareness and pattern of use of contraceptives along with the socio-demographic factors associated with the unmet needs for contraception.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included eligible couples with married women in age group of 15-45 yr as the study population (n=267). Probability proportional to size sampling followed by systematic random sampling was used. A pre-tested questionnaire was administered to collect data from the respondents. Double data entry and validation of data was done.

Results: Unmet need for contraception was 27.3 per cent (95% CI: 22.3-33); unmet need for spacing and limiting was 4.9 and 22.5 per cent, respectively. Among those with unmet need (n=73), 50 per cent reported client related factors (lack of knowledge, shyness, etc.); and 37 per cent reported contraception related factors (availability, accessibility, affordability, side effects) as a cause for unmet need.

Interpretation & conclusions: Our study showed a high unmet need for contraception in the study area indicating towards a necessity to address user perspective to meet the contraception needs.

Comment: This paper emphasizes the big unmet need for safe and effective family planning in rural areas, this time in India. Looking at the reasons, it is clear that health workers must bring up the issue of family planning during consulations. (HMV)