Women’s involvement in contraceptive decision-making increases contraceptive use and reduces unmet need, but study of this has been limited to women’s self-reports. Less research is available examining couple concordance and women’s involvement in contraceptive decision-making as reported by both men and women.
We carried out a cross-sectional study using data from rural India (N = 961 young married couples). Using multivariable regression we examined the association between concordance or discordance in spousal reports of wife’s involvement in contraceptive decision-making and modern contraceptive use, adjusting for demographics, intimate partner violence, and contraceptive use discussion.
More than one third (38.3%) of women reported current modern contraceptive use. Report of women’s involvement in contraceptive decision-making showed 70.3% of couples agreed that women were involved, jointly or alone (categorized as Concordant 1), 4.2% agreed women were not involved (categorized at Concordant 2), 13.2% had women report involvement but men report women were uninvolved (categorized as Discordant 1), and 12.2% had women report uninvolvement but men report that women were involved (categorized as Discordant 2). Discordant 2 couples had lower odds of modern contraceptive use relative to Concordant 1 couples (adjusted RR = 0.61, 95% CI 0.45–0.83). No other significant differences between Concordant 1 couples and other categories were observed.
One in four couples indicated discordance on women’s involvement in contraceptive decision making, with Discordant 2 category having lower odds of contraceptive use. Couples’ concordance in women’s involvement in contraceptive decision-making offers a target for family planning research and interventions to better meet their needs.