Unmet need for family planning in Ghana: Trends and determinants

Kazuyo Machiyama
John C. Cleland


Despite the fall in fertility, this IUSSP working paper shows that unmet need for family planning in Ghana has declined only modestly from 50 percent in 1988 to 42 percent in 2008. The relative contribution to unmet need of lack of access to methods has diminished but attitudinal resistance has grown. The mention of health concerns as a reason for non-use has increased substantially since 1988 and is now the dominant reason. In recent surveys, the second most commonly mentioned reason was infrequent sex. An enduring resistance to hormonal methods, much of it based on experience of side effects during prior episodes of use, may lead many Ghanaian women, particularly in urban areas, to use periodic abstinence or reduced coital frequency as an alternative means of reducing pregnancy risk.