In this study, it is clear that numerous factors were affecting unmet needs in WCA. The family planning program is a program that has succeeded in increasing contraceptive use by as much as 60% in couples worldwide . It is estimated that there are 225 million women in the world whose contraceptive needs are still not being met each year. The situation is unfortunate, considering that contraception in an unmet need population can further prevent 36 million abortions, 70,000 maternal deaths, and 52 million unwanted pregnancies .
Age is one of the factors that determine the use of contraception. Previous research focusing on women aged 15–24 has shown that contraceptive knowledge and use among younger women tend to be lower, especially when combined with lower education and rural areas [11, 12]. Previous studies have also shown that this is related to more significant concern on younger women and would translate into lower contraceptive coverage in the younger age category .
Education, spouse’s education, and possession of various facilities (electricity, radio, television, cellphone, and internet) are linked to the availability of information flows that reach the WCA. Previous research in Bangladesh and Ghana has shown that education is a very influential factor in the use of contraception because women with higher levels of education tend to have a better understanding of the benefits and risks of using contraception [14, 15]. Better education would also lead to higher levels of contraceptive use [14, 16, 17].
Afterward, it was also known that factors associated with unmet needs are age, parity, residential area, level of education, level of spouse’s education, employment status, possession of television, and possession of electricity. The number of unmet needs is directly related to the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. Previous research has shown a 16-fold chance of developing an unwanted pregnancy in women with unmet needs .
Age, parity, education, spouse's education, and access to information would influence the incidence of unmet needs in Indonesia. Previous research conducted in Indonesia in 2015 also showed similar results that age and parity would determine the incidence of unmet need in WCA . Therefore, further education is needed, not only about family planning and contraceptive programs but also the ideal number of children for couples .
One of the considerations affecting the decision on contraceptive use is the characteristics of the spouse. As one of the countries with strong patriarchal values, WCA in Indonesia has difficulties ranging from accessing school and sexual education to not having the right to determine the number of children deemed appropriate . In this report, women with lower spouse’s education are more likely to be identified as an unmet need. Previous research has shown that women in developing countries appear to be rejected by their spouses, who desire more offspring. They also have many obstacles and must struggle harder in order to have access to contraception [10, 20].
In conclusion, factors affecting unmet needs range from intrinsic characteristics such as age and parity to spouse’s characteristics such as education and socioeconomic status. There were no recurring risk factors. However, the risk factors multiplied in the later years. Comprehensive education and contraceptive provision would be beneficial to improve the rate of contraceptive use in Indonesia.