Background: Unmet need for family planning has implications for women and their families, such as unsafe abortion, physical abuse, and poor maternal health. Contraceptive knowledge has increased across low-income settings, yet unmet need remains high with little information on the factors explaining it. This study assessed factors associated with unmet need among pregnant women in rural Burkina Faso.
Method: We collected data on pregnant women through a population-based survey conducted in 24 rural districts between October 2013 and March 2014. Multivariate multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the association between unmet need for family planning and a selection of relevant demand- and supply-side factors.
Results: Of the 1309 pregnant women covered in the survey, 239 (18.26%) reported experiencing unmet need for family planning. Pregnant women with more than three living children [OR = 1.80; 95% CI (1.11-2.91)], those with a child younger than 1 year [OR = 1.75; 95% CI (1.04-2.97)], pregnant women whose partners disapproves contraceptive use [OR = 1.51; 95% CI (1.03-2.21)] and women who desired fewer children compared to their partners preferred number of children [OR = 1.907; 95% CI (1.361-2.672)] were significantly more likely to experience unmet need for family planning, while health staff training in family planning logistics management (OR = 0.46; 95% CI (0.24-0.73)] was associated with a lower probability of experiencing unmet need for family planning.
Conclusion: Findings suggest the need to strengthen family planning interventions in Burkina Faso to ensure greater uptake of contraceptive use and thus reduce unmet need for family planning.
Keywords: Burkina Faso; Family planning; Rural districts; Unintended pregnancy; Unmet need.