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Understanding Patterns of Temporary Method Use among Urban Women from Uttar Pradesh, India


Barden-O'Fallon, Janine L.; Speizer, Ilene S.; Calhoun, Lisa M.; Montana, Livia; & Nanda, Priya (2014). Understanding Patterns of Temporary Method Use among Urban Women from Uttar Pradesh, India. BMC Public Health, 14, 1018. PMCID: PMC4190301


BACKGROUND: Almost one in five contraceptive users in India uses a temporary method. It is important to understand user profiles and method use patterns for optimal program targeting.This analysis examines differences in demographic characteristics, discontinuation and use patterns of temporary method users among a representative sample of urban women from four cities in Uttar Pradesh, India. METHODS: Individual data from a panel of women aged 15-49 were collected in 2010 in Agra, Aligarh, Allahabad, and Gorakhpur and follow-up data from the same women were collected in 2012. A contraceptive calendar was used to collect month-by-month data on contraceptive use, non-use, discontinuation, reason for discontinuation, and pregnancy and birth, covering the approximately two-year period between the baseline and midterm surveys. The analysis sample is 4,023 non-sterilized women in union at baseline. A descriptive comparison is made of socio-demographic characteristics, fertility desires, discontinuation, method switching, and pregnancy outcomes. Reasons for discontinuation are assessed by the order of discontinuation. RESULTS: There were a number of socio-demographic differences between users of temporary methods during the calendar period; by education, wealth, and caste. Notably, women who used only condoms during this time had the most education, were the least likely to be poor, and the least likely to be from a scheduled caste or tribe as compared to users of other temporary methods. Compared to the full sample of women, users of temporary methods during this period were less likely to reside in slum areas. The group of multiple method users was small in comparison to the groups of women using a single method throughout the calendar period. This indicates that there was little method switching between condoms, traditional methods, and other forms of modern methods reported in the calendar. CONCLUSIONS: The calendar may not be well-suited to measure coital-dependent contraceptive use (e.g., condoms and traditional methods), as "continuous" monthly use may be overstated. A coital episode-specific data collection tool may produce more accurate records of contraceptive use in such contexts. Research findings also lead to useful programmatic recommendations for addressing unmet need and unintended pregnancies in urban Uttar Pradesh and beyond.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

BMC Public Health


Barden-O'Fallon, Janine L.
Speizer, Ilene S.
Calhoun, Lisa M.
Montana, Livia
Nanda, Priya