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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 649567, 9 pages
Research Article

Unmet Need for Family Planning in Nepal during the First Two Years Postpartum

1Nepal Health Sector Support Programme, Ministry of Health and Population, Ramshah Path, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
2Karuna Foundation Nepal, Baluwatar, Kathmandu 44616, Nepal
3Kist Medical College, Imadol, Lalitpur 44705, Nepal
4Options Consultancy Services Limited, Devon House, 58 St Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1LB, UK

Received 28 February 2014; Revised 12 May 2014; Accepted 14 May 2014; Published 5 June 2014

Academic Editor: Gudlavalleti Venkata Murthy

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.


Contraceptive use during the postpartum period is critical for maternal and child health. However, little is known about the use of family planning and the determinants in Nepal during this period. This study explored pregnancy spacing, unmet need, family planning use, and fertility behaviour among postpartum women in Nepal using child level data from the Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys 2011. More than one-quarter of women who gave birth in the last five years became pregnant within 24 months of giving birth and 52% had an unmet need for family planning within 24 months postpartum. Significantly higher rates of unmet need were found among rural and hill residents, the poorest quintile, and Muslims. Despite wanting to space or limit pregnancies, nonuse of modern family planning methods by women and returned fertility increased the risk of unintended pregnancy. High unmet need for family planning in Nepal, especially in high risk groups, indicates the need for more equitable and higher quality postpartum family planning services, including availability of range of methods and counselling which will help to further reduce maternal, perinatal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality in Nepal.