Worldwide, the importance of contraception to control fertility has been recognized. A useful indicator of the gap between reproductive preferences and the provision of contraception is “unmet need for contraception”. The aims of this paper are to estimate the levels of unmet need for contraception among married and single women, and to explore factors associated with unmet need for contraception for spacing and limiting births in Mexico.
We used the Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics 2014, using a sub-sample of 56,797 sexually active women aged 15–49 years who were either currently in union or who had never been in union to estimate the prevalence of unmet need for spacing and limiting births. We applied multivariable binary logistic regressions to examine the relationship between unmet need for spacing and limiting considering associated factors.
Unmet need for contraception was estimated at 11.5% among women in union (6.4% limiting; 5.1% spacing), and 28.9% for women never in union (8% limiting; 20.9% spacing). In the logistic regression for unmet need for spacing, the likelihood was statistically significant associated with younger women (OR = 6.8; CI = 2.95–15.48); women never in union (OR = 1.6; CI = 1.40–1.79); low levels of education (OR = 1.4; CI = 1.26–1.56); and residing in poor regions (OR = 1.9; CI = 1.52–2.49). Those with full access to public services were significantly less likely to have unmet need for spacing (OR = 0.8; CI = 0.66–0.88).
In the logistic regression for unmet need for limiting, being younger (OR = 6.3; CI = 4.73–8.27), never in union and sexually active (OR = 3.0; CI = 2.47–3.54); with less schooling (OR 1.13; CI: 1.02–1.26); rural residence (OR = 1.2; CI = 1.07–1.32); and residing in poor regions (OR = 1.5; CI = 1.23–1.93) were factors positively associated with this unmet need. Women with private health services were the least likely to have unmet need for limiting (OR = 0.5; CI = 0.37–0.77).
Younger women currently in union and never in union had the highest unmet needs of contraception for spacing and limiting. The results from this study suggest that in Mexico family planning services must prioritize the contraception needs of all young women, both in union and not in union, with appropriate and suitable services to cover their needs.