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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 636439, 7 pages
Research Article

Inequalities in the Use of Family Planning in Rural Nepal

1Nepal Health Sector Support Programme, Ministry of Health and Population, Ramshah Path, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
2Karuna Foundation Nepal, Baluwatar, Kathmandu 44616, Nepal
3Ministry of Health and Population, Ramshah Path, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
4Options Consultancy Services Limited, Devon House, 58 St Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1LB, UK

Received 9 June 2014; Revised 4 August 2014; Accepted 7 August 2014; Published 28 August 2014

Academic Editor: Luenda Charles

Copyright © 2014 Suresh Mehata et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper explores inequalities in the use of modern family planning methods among married women of reproductive age (MWRA) in rural Nepal. Data from the 2012 Nepal Household Survey (HHS) were utilized, which employed a stratified, three-stage cluster design to obtain a representative sample of 9,016 households from rural Nepal. Within the sampled households, one woman of reproductive age was randomly selected to answer the survey questions related to reproductive health. Only four out of every ten rural MWRA were using a modern family planning method. Short-acting and permanent methods were most commonly used, and long-acting reversible contraceptives were the least likely to be used. Muslims were less likely to use family planning compared to other caste/ethnic groups. Usage was also lower among younger women (likely to be trying to delay or space births) than older women (likely to be trying to limit their family size). Less educated women were more likely to use permanent methods and less likely to use short-term methods. To increase the CPR, which has currently stalled, and continue to reduce the TFR, Nepal needs more focused efforts to increase family planning uptake in rural areas. The significant inequalities suggest that at-risk groups need additional targeting by demand and supply side interventions.