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Modern contraceptive use among women in need of family planning in India: an analysis of the inequalities related to the mix of methods used
Authors: Fernanda Ewerling, Lotus McDougal, Anita Raj, Leonardo Z. Ferreira, Cauane Blumenberg, Divya Parmar, Aluisio J. D. Barro
Source: Reproductive Health, DOI:10.1186/s12978-021-01220-w
Topic(s): Contraception
Reproductive health
Country: Asia
Published: AUG 2021
Abstract: Objective: To evaluate the type of contraceptives used by women in need of family planning in India and the inequalities associated with that use according to women's age, education, wealth, subnational region of residence and empowerment level. Methods: Using data from the Indian National Family and Health Survey-4 (2015-2016), we evaluated the proportion of partnered women aged 15-49 years with demand for family planning satisfied (DFPS) with modern contraceptive methods. We also explored the share of each type of contraception [short- (e.g., condom, pill) and long-acting (i.e., IUD) reversible contraceptives and permanent methods] and related inequalities. Results: The majority (71.8%; 95% CI 71.4-72.2) of women in need of contraception were using a modern method, most (76.1%) in the form of female sterilization. Condom and contraceptive pill were the second and third most frequently used methods (11.8% and 8.5%, respectively); only 3.2% reported IUD. There was a nearly linear exchange from short-acting to permanent contraceptive methods as women aged. Women in the poorest wealth quintile had DFPS with modern methods at least 10 percentage points lower than other women. We observed wide geographic variation in DFPS with modern contraceptives, ranging from 23.6% (95% CI 22.1-25.2) in Manipur to 93.6% (95% CI 92.8-94.3) in Andhra Pradesh. Women with more accepting attitudes towards domestic violence and lower levels of social independence had higher DFPS with modern methods but also had higher reliance on permanent methods. Among sterilized women, 43.2% (95% CI 42.7-43.7) were sterilized before age 25, 61.5% (95% CI 61.0-62.1) received monetary compensation for sterilization, and 20.8% (95% CI 20.3-21.3) were not informed that sterilization prevented future pregnancies. Conclusion: Indian family planning policy should prioritize women-centered care, making reversible contraceptive methods widely available and promoted.