An alternative approach to measure unmet need in Turkey

Banu Akadlı Ergöçmen, Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies
Alanur Cavlin Bozbeyoglu, Middle East Technical University

Unmet need for contraception is in a declining trend in Turkey as a result of increase in the proportions of women using family planning method. Despite the fact that use of modern contraception has become more widespread, traditional method use, in particular withdrawal, remains the most commonly practiced means of contraception. Furthermore, women who use traditional method and would prefer modern method instead constitute a group which is crucial in terms of policy making. Data on married women aged 15-49 from the 2003 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey were analyzed to explore the difference in the size of unmet need when it is estimated for non-users and for users of traditional method but with the intention of using a modern method. In general, unmet need estimated with the inclusion of women who want to replace their traditional family planning method with a modern one (18.9 percent) reflects a relatively large group of unmet need for contraception compared to that of estimated with the standard formulation (7.1 percent). Difference reveals itself not only in the magnitude of unmet need but also for the selected background variables such as region, education, age and mother tongue. The method-mix of the country affects the magnitude of the estimated unmet need. In the estimation of unmet need, to take the country-specific situation in family planning method use into account enables to estimate the extent of potential demand for family planning in a more realistic way.

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Presented in Poster Session 1

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