In Bihar, India, as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown and men returning home in large numbers and spending more time at home in high stress conditions, the need for contraceptive services could get greater. March to May are considered the “lean season” when demand is typically low for family planning (FP) programs in states like Bihar. However, higher demand caused by the lockdown and lack of access to health facilities has created a gap between demand and uptake. This could have negative consequences such as high numbers of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal mortality. Current use of modern contraceptive methods was found to be limited among young married women (14%); it was even lower in neighborhoods perceived to be at risk of COVID-19. Among those not using any method, 11% expressed the need for modern methods and an additional 19% reported their inability to access FP services from health facilities due to the lockdown. As noted in this brief, access to FP services was limited among more marginalized communities than others during lockdown.
UNICEF and Population Council Institute. 2020. "Demand for and access to family planning services among young married women during COVID-19 crisis," COVID-19 Research Results Brief #6. New Delhi: UNICEF and Population Council.
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic; Understanding the Lives of Adolescents and Young Adults (UDAYA)