Publications Summary

Document Type
Working Papers
Publication Topic(s)
Family Planning
Recommended Citation
Marquez, M. P. N., M. Kabamalan, and E. Laguna. 2017. Ten Years of Traditional Contraceptive Method Use in the Philippines: Continuity and Change. DHS Working Papers No. 130. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF.
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Publication Date
July 2017
Publication ID

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The Philippines has a contraceptive prevalence rate of 55%, based on the 2013 Philippines National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). Most contraceptive users rely on modern methods, but over the past 10 years traditional method use has continued to comprise about a third of all contraceptive users in the country. This study examines recent levels, patterns, and determinants of traditional contraceptive method use, based on pooled data from the 2003, 2008, and 2013 Philippines DHS surveys. Results from the multinomial logistic regression analyses show that among users of traditional rather than modern contraceptive methods, women in 2003 and 2008 were more likely to use rhythm over modern contraceptive methods compared with women in 2013, while withdrawal rather than modern contraceptive methods were preferred more by women in 2013 than in 2003. The results identify several factors that are significant in predicting use of either rhythm or withdrawal rather than modern contraceptive methods. Women in the lowest wealth quintile relative to those in the highest (wealthiest) quintile, as well as women who want more children relative to those who do not, are more likely to use either of the two traditional rather than modern contraceptive methods. Furthermore, women who are undecided about whether to have another child are more likely to use the rhythm method compared with modern contraceptives. Having correct knowledge of the fertile period increases the relative risk of a woman using rhythm than using modern contraceptive methods. The characteristics of women who use traditional methods have changed little over the past decade. While most program efforts have focused on new acceptors of modern contraception, many Filipino women continue to rely on traditional methods. Knowing the characteristics of traditional contraceptive method users can help policies and programs to promote more effective contraceptive use, including encouraging users of traditional contraceptive methods to switch to the more effective modern methods.


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