Solving the unmet need for family planning is a challenge for improving women’s health, especially women during the postpartum period. This study aims to determine the degree of women’s unmet needs during the postpartum period and associated factors in Parakou, Northern Benin. This is a cross-sectional community study conducted in 2018 with 453 postpartum women living in Parakou. They were selected using a two-stage random sampling technique. We used a logistic regression model to identify the factors associated with unmet needs. The unmet needs for family planning concerned 340 postpartum women (75.06%; 95% CI: 71.1 - 79.0). This prevalence decreased significantly depending on the spouse’s education level. Other associated factors included the absence of a history of contraceptive use (AOR = 4.1; 95% CI: 2.5 - 6.9), failure to resume sexual practices (AOR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.3 - 3.4), and the need for husbands' authorization before adopting a contraceptive method (AOR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.3 - 3.6). In conclusion, 75% of women during the postpartum period in Parakou have an unmet need for family planning. Contextualized interventions to reverse this trend must be designed to reduce maternal, perinatal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality.
Key words: Unmet needs, family planning, postpartum, associated factors, Benin.
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