In sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of women of reproductive age who want to avoid pregnancy do not use any method of contraception. This study sought to determine the factors associated with modern contraceptive use among women with no fertility intention in sub-Saharan Africa.
This study used data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A total of 87,554 women aged 15–49 with no fertility intention and who had completed information on all the variables of interest were considered in this study. Using a multilevel logistic regression analysis, four models were used to examine the individual and contextual factors associated with modern contraceptive use. The results were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aOR), with their respective confidence intervals (CIs). Statistical significance was set at p< 0.05.
The prevalence of modern contraceptive use was 29.6%. With the individual-level factors, women aged 45–49 had lower odds of using modern contraceptives (aOR = 0.33, 95% CI = 0.28, 0.39). Women who had their first sex at age 15–19 (aOR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.07, 1.17), those with higher education (aOR = 1.93, 95% CI = 1.75, 2.13), and women who were exposed to newspaper (aOR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.10, 1.20) and radio (aOR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.17, 1.26) had higher odds of modern contraceptive use. In terms of the contextual factors, women living in urban areas (aOR = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.02, 1.11), women in the richest wealth quintile (aOR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.43, 1.67), and those in communities with medium literacy level (aOR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.06, 1.16) and medium community socio-economic status (aOR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.10, 1.23) had higher odds of modern contraceptive use. Across the geographic regions in sub-Saharan Africa, women in Southern Africa had higher odds of modern contraceptive use (aOR = 5.29, 95% CI = 4.86, 5.76).
There is a relatively low prevalence of modern contraceptive use among women with no fertility intention in sub-Saharan Africa, with cross-country variations. Women’s age, age at first sex, level of education, mass media exposure, place of residence, community literacy level and community socio-economic status were found to be associated with modern contraceptive use. It is, therefore, important for policy makers to consider these factors when designing and implementing programmes or policies to increase contraceptive use among women who have no intention to give birth. Also, policymakers and other key stakeholders should intensify mass education programmes to address disparities in modern contraceptive use among women.
Bibliographical note© 2021. The Author(s).
- Fertility intention
- modern contraceptives
- sub-Saharan Africa
- Women’s health