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Unmet need of family planning among married women of reproductive age: A clinic-based study in rural Bengal

Nazrul Mallick, Bobby Paul, Shobhit Garg, Aparajita Dasgupta, Ayon Ghosh, Bijit Biswas.

Background: Fecund married women who currently do not practice any family planning (FP) methods are considered to have unmet need for FP. In spite of a longstanding and robust family welfare program in India, the key health indicators like birth rate or maternal mortality ratio are still far from satisfactory for which mitigating unmet need plays a crucial factor.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the unmet need for FP and its determinants among married women of reproductive age group.

Materials and Methods: It was a clinic-based descriptive study conducted among 104 married women of reproductive age group (1549 years) attending the outpatient Department of Anandangar Primary Health Center, in the rural field practice area of All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata. Data were collected 2 days a week with the help of a pre-tested structured interview schedule from women who attended the clinic and consented to participate during the 1 month study period (September 2016).

Results: The mean age of the subjects was 32.4 years, and unmet need was found to be 34.6%. In univariate logistic regression analysis, significant association was found with religion odds ratios (OR) 3.75 (confidence interval [CI] 1.3610.31), socioeconomic status (as measured by modified B.G Prasad scale 2016) OR 2.51 (CI 1.085.75), and who had at least one male child OR 3.73 (CI 1.509.23). In multivariable logistic regression, significant association was found with religion OR (CI) 14.22 (3.4558.60) and socioeconomic status OR (CI) 2.93 (1.068.06).

Conclusion: Proper counselling by healthcare providers to rectify the misconceptions associated with contraceptive use may reduce their unmet need and increase the acceptance rate of contraceptives.

Key words: Unmet Need; Married Women; Contraception

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