Missed opportunities for family planning counselling among postpartum women in eleven counties in Kenya

Authors & affiliation

Mary N. Thiongo, Peter Gichangi, Michael Waithaka, Amy Tsui, Linnea A. Zimmerman, Scott Radloff, Marleen Temmerman, Saifuddin Ahmed


Background Mothers may access medical facilities for their babies and miss opportunities to access family planning (FP) services. This study was undertaken to describe missed opportunities for FP among women within the extended (0-11 months) postpartum period from counties participating in Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) surveys. Design and setting This study analysed cross-sectional household survey data from 11 counties in Kenya between 2014 and 2018. PMA2020 uses questions extracted from the Demographic and Health survey (DHS) and DHS definitions were used. Multivariable logistic regression was used for inferential statistics with p-value of < 0.05 considered to be significant. Participants Women aged 15-49 years from the households visited. Primary outcome measure Missed opportunity for family planning/contraceptives (FP/C) counselling. Results Of the 34,832 women aged 15-49 years interviewed, 10.9% (3803) and 10.8% (3746) were in the period 0-11 months and 12-23 months postpartum respectively, of whom, 38.8 and 39.6% respectively had their previous pregnancy unintended. Overall, 50.4% of women 0-23 months postpartum had missed opportunities for FP/C counselling. Among women who had contact with health care at the facility, 39.2% of women 0-11 months and 44.7% of women 12-23 months had missed opportunities for FP/C counselling. Less than half of the women 0-11 months postpartum (46.5%) and 64.5% of women 12 - 23 months postpartum were using highly efficacious methods. About 27 and 18% of the women 0-11 months and 12 - 23 months postpartum respectively had unmet need for FP/C. Multivariable analysis showed that being low parity and being from the low wealth quintile significantly increased the odds of missed opportunities for FP/C counselling among women in the extended postpartum period, p < 0.05. Conclusions A large proportion of women have missed opportunities for FP/C counselling within 2 years postpartum. Programs should address these missed opportunities.

Publication date:


Staff members:

Peter Gichangi
Marleen Temmerman

Link to publication

Open link


s12889-022-12623-0.pdf (open)

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