Investigating Seasonal Agriculture, Contraceptive Use, and Pregnancy in Burkina Faso

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Seasonal shifts in community-level agricultural production and their impact on the severity of the annual hunger season and household coping behaviors are important themes in climate change–health research. The relationship between seasonal variability, childbearing, and reproductive health, however, is less well understood. In this research, we combine detailed, spatially referenced Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) data collected for Burkina Faso in 2017 and 2018 and a community-specific measure of seasonal agricultural quality to assess the relationship between seasonal agricultural variation and individual-level fertility and two dimensions of reproductive health: contraceptive use and pregnancy. We also incorporate data related to the family planning service environment. Results from cross-sectional regression models indicate that a better than average agricultural season might increase contraceptive use among all women, and analyses of monthly behaviors during and just after the growing season suggest that better than average growing season conditions might actually reduce contraceptive use among women who have no children or who are in their prime childbearing years. The results therefore indicate that women who are building their families might be less likely to use contraception and are perhaps more interested in timing births to occur following better than average growing seasons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-802
Number of pages16
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by American Association of Geographers.


  • Africa
  • climate change
  • contraceptive use
  • fertility
  • seasonality


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