Information on future intention to use contraceptives is a potential programme indicator for family planning services. Using three consecutive rounds of Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) data collected in 2000, 2005 and 2011, this study examined whether the sex composition of living children and future desire for additional children were associated with the intention to use contraceptives among Ethiopian women aged 15–49 years who were not using any method of contraception at the time of the survey. The pooled multivariate binary logistic regression analysis indicated that between 2000 and 2011, the intentions of non-users to use contraceptives in the future increased significantly. Women who had at least one child (with an equal number of boys and girls, more boys than girls or more girls than boys) who did not want any more children, and those who were unsure about their desire for additional children, showed an increased intention to use contraceptives in the future, compared with those with an equal number of boys and girls who expressed a desire for additional children. Women with no children and who did not want children, or those who were unclear about their future desire, showed a lower intention to use contraceptives, compared with women with an equal number of boys and girls who wanted a child in the future.