INTRODUCTION Evidence from health emergencies suggests COVID-19 will disrupt women's sexual and reproductive health (SRH). In sub-Saharan Africa, which experiences the highest rates of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion globally, COVID-19 is projected to slow recent progress toward universal access to contraceptive services .
METHODS We used longitudinal data collected from women at risk of unintended pregnancy in Burkina Faso (n=1186) and Kenya (n=2784) before (November 2019-February 2020) and during (May-July 2020) COVID-19 to quantify contraceptive dynamics during COVID-19; examine sociodemographic factors and COVID-19 experiences related to contraceptive dynamics; and assess COVID-19-related reasons for contraceptive non-use . Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to examine correlates of contraceptive dynamics amid COVID-19 .
RESULTS Most women did not change their contraceptive status during COVID-19 (68.6% in Burkina Faso and 81.6% in Kenya) and those who did were more likely to adopt a method (25.4% and 13.1%, respectively) than to discontinue (6.0% and 5.3%, respectively). Most women who switched contraceptives were using methods as or more effective than their pre-pandemic contraception . Economic instability related to COVID-19 was associated with increased contraceptive protection in Burkina Faso but not in Kenya . Altogether , 14.4% of non-contraceptive users in Kenya and 3.8% in Burkina Faso identified COVID-19-related reasons for non-use .
CONCLUSIONS The vast majority of women at risk of unintended pregnancy did not change their contraceptive status during COVID-19, and more women adopted than discontinued methods . A minority of women reported COVID-19-related reasons for non-use, underscoring the importance of expanding safe modes of service delivery during health crises.