Factors Associated with Unmet Need for Family Planning Among Young Women in the Philippines

Angelica Anne E. Latorre

Abstract


Background: The sociodemographic shift in sexual initiation, low contraceptive and family planning use pose threat in the reproductive health and well-being of young people. Despite the rise in sexual activity among young people before reaching the age of 18, prevalence of contraceptive use remains low while unmet need for family planning among married and sexually active women is consistently highest among women 15-19 years old compared to any other age group.

Objective: The observed trend in the reproductive health practices of young people, as well as the paucity of literature on adolescent reproductive health, warrant the need for studies that focus on family planning and sexual behavior of young people. This study aims to determine the factors associated with unmet need for family planning among sexually active women aged 15-19 years in the Philippines.

Methods: This study used the data from the National Demographic Health Survey 2017. The analysis included only the fecund and sexually active women aged 15-19 years old. Logistic regression was performed in order to determine the significant predictors of unmet need for family planning among young women.

Results: Sixty-eight percent of women reported secondary education as the highest level of education
attended. Knowledge on modern family planning method is high at 99% while the proportion of women with knowledge of ovulatory cycle, and knowledge on possibility of getting pregnant after giving birth and before the return of menstrual cycle are 21% and 61%, respectively. The proportion of women who responded that their husbands/partners desire the same number of children is 68%. Multiple logistic regression and stepwise selection procedure showed that husband's fertility preference is a significant predictor of having unmet need.

Conclusion: Addressing the issue on low family planning and contraceptive use among young women in the Philippines requires concerted efforts that aim to cater to the needs of both men and women in this age group. The consistently low family planning practice among young people despite the overall improvement in the proportion of family planning users among women indicates the need for variability in strategies that target young and older age groups. Further research should be conducted in order to gain better understanding of the determinants of unmet need for family planning among young people.


Keywords


unmet need for family planning; young women; adolescent reproductive health; teenage contraceptive use; family planning services

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