Unmet need for family planning and associated factors among currently married women in Nepal: A further analysis of Nepal Demographic and Health Survey—2022



Family planning (FP) is crucial for improving maternal and newborn health outcomes, promoting gender equality, and reducing poverty. Unmet FP needs persist globally, especially in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa leading to unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal fatalities. This study aims to identify the determinants of unmet needs for FP from a nationally representative survey.


We analyzed the data of 11,180 currently married women from nationally representative Nepal Health Demographic Survey 2022. We conducted weighted analysis in R statistical software to account complex survey design and non-response rate. We conducted univariate and multivariable binary and multinomial logistic regression to assess association of unmet need for FP with independent variables including place of residence, province, ecological belt, ethnicity, religion, current age, participant’s and husband’s education, occupation, wealth quintile, parity, desire for child, and media exposure.


The total unmet FP need was 20.8% (95%CI: 19.7, 21.9) accounting 13.4% (95%CI: 12.5, 14.4) for unmet need for limiting and 7.4% (95%CI: 6.8, 8.0) for unmet for spacing. Lower odds of total unmet need for FP were present in 20–34 years and 35–49 years compared to <20 years, women belonging to Madhesi ethnic group (AOR: 0.78; 95%CI: 0.64, 0.95) compared to Brahmin/Chhetri, women from richest (AOR: 0.69; 95%CI: 0.56, 0.84), richer (AOR: 0.82; 95%CI: 0.68, 0.97) and middle wealth quintile (AOR: 0.82; 95%CI:0.70, 0.98) groups compared poorest wealth quintile group and women belonging to rural area (AOR: 0.89; 95%CI: 0.80, 0.99) compared to urban area. Higher odds of unmet need for FP were present among women with basic (AOR: 1.34; 95%CI: 1.17, 1.54), and secondary level (AOR: 1.32; 95%CI: 1.12, 1.56) education compared to women without education, among women from Madhesh (AOR: 1.56; 95%CI: 1.22, 1.98), Gandaki (AOR: 2.11; 95%CI: 1.66, 2.68), Lumbini (AOR: 1.97; 95%CI: 1.61, 2.42) and Sudurpashchim province (AOR: 1.64; 95%CI: 1.27, 2.10) compared to Koshi province and among women whose husband education was basic level (AOR:1.37; 95%CI: 1.15, 1.63), or secondary level (AOR: 1.32; 95%CI: 1.09, 1.60) education.


Nepal faces relatively high unmet FP needs across various socio-demographic strata. Addressing these needs requires targeted interventions focusing on age, ethnicity, religion, education, and socio-economic factors to ensure universal access to FP services.

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