Longitudinal examination of which married young women use contraception to delay a first pregnancy in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Early marriage and childbearing put young women and their babies at risk of poor health and well-being. This study uses two rounds of longitudinal data from young women ages 15–19 in 2015–2016 and followed in 2018–2019 to determine factors associated with contraceptive use before a first pregnancy among young, married women in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, India. Discrete time hazard models were used to analyze time to first use starting from the month of marriage. Overall, use of contraception prior to a first pregnancy was low in this sample (between 12 to 20% used before a first pregnancy). Young women who reported that someone discussed the importance of delaying a first birth at the time of marriage were significantly more likely to have used a method of family planning (FP) before a first pregnancy than those who did not receive this information. Further, women who discussed FP with their husband before a first pregnancy were more likely to use contraception. Finally, among recently married young women, those who experienced pressure to have a child were less likely to use before a first pregnancy. As young women recognize the advantages of delaying a first birth and adopt FP to meet their needs, social norms around early childbearing will slowly adjust and early use to delay a first pregnancy will become more normative.






Understanding the Lives of Adolescents and Young Adults (UDAYA)