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Women in Cairo, Egypt and their risk factors for unmet contraceptive need: a community-based study
  1. Mohammed Mahmoud Kotb,
  2. Iman Bakr,
  3. Nanees A Ismail,
  4. Naglaa Arafa and
  5. Mohamed El-Gewaily
  1. Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Egypt
  1. Correspondence to Dr Naglaa A Arafa, Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Egypt; naglaaarafa{at}


Background and methodology Although modern family planning methods are readily available in Egypt at low cost, a considerable proportion of women still have an unmet contraceptive need. The aim of this study was to detect the risk factors of unmet contraceptive need among married women in the childbearing period in an underprivileged area in Cairo with high population density. A survey of 2340 women in the Marg district of Eastern Cairo was conducted by means of home interviews. For every woman identified as having an unmet contraceptive need (n=174), the next two women identified with met contraceptive need were selected as controls (n=348).

Results The prevalence of unmet need was 7.4%. Risk factors identified were: belief that contraception is religiously prohibited (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.06–4.09); poor interspousal communication about the desired number of children (OR 2.59, 95% CI 1.40–4.79); husband opposition to contraceptive use (OR 2.96, 95% CI 1.47–5.97); a previous history of unwanted pregnancy (OR 2.98, 95% CI 1.73–5.14); and experiencing side effects from previous contraceptive use (OR 5.69, 95% CI 3.46–9.37).

Conclusions The authors propose training physicians to identify and counsel women who experience contraceptive side effects and/or a previous unwanted pregnancy, as well as the transmission of clear media messages on the religious acceptability of contraceptive use.

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  • Funding The study was supported by a financial grant from the National Population Council of Egypt.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethical approval The study was approved by the ethical committee of medical research from the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population (No. 180, 1/1/2009).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.