Journal Article

Demand for contraception to delay first pregnancy among young married women in India

In India, evidence is sparse regarding the demand for contraception to delay first pregnancy among married young people. Using data drawn from a study conducted in six Indian states among 9,572 women aged 15-24 who were married for five or fewer years, we explore the scope of this demand, the extent to which it has been satisfied, and, using logistic regression analyses, the factors correlated with contraceptive use to delay first pregnancy among those reporting demand. Findings confirm considerable demand for contraception to postpone first pregnancy (51 percent). Of those with demand, only 10 percent had practiced contraception. Contraception was more likely to have been practiced by educated women, those aware of family planning methods before they were married, those exposed to quality sexuality education, and those who participated in marriage-related decisionmaking. Women who reported feeling pressure to prove their fertility were less likely to have practiced contraception.