New evidence on contraceptive use among women worldwide

The authors found large regional variations in the types of contraceptives used, with women in some regions relying primarily on permanent contraceptives, and they suggest that consideration of preference is taken into account. on contraception by different groups and diversifying options to fit the needs of underserved groups an important part of unlocking the economic and social benefits of the method contraception.

The most comprehensive assessment of contraceptive demand and use worldwide estimates that more than 160 million women and adolescents in need of contraception were still not using contraception in 2019. – although contraceptive use has increased significantly at a global level since 1970. This study provides an estimate of worldwide contraceptive use, demand and type continuously from 1970 to 2019 by country, age group and marital status.


Permanent methods, such as female sterilization, are more likely to be used by older women, while younger women and adolescents tend to use short-acting methods, such as oral tablets. contraception or condoms. The results have been published in the journal Lancet.

Gaps in contraceptive use after major global progress

Based on data from 1,162 self-reported representative surveys of women’s contraceptive use, the authors used the model to produce national estimates of family planning indicators. varied, including the proportion of women of childbearing age (15-49 years) using any contraceptive method, the proportion of women of childbearing age using modern methods, the types of contraception in use, the need being met with modern methods, and the need for any unmet need for contraception.

Women who are determined to need contraception when married or if unmarried, sexually active, able to become pregnant and do not wish to have children within two years, or if they are pregnant or have recently given birth but want to delay or prevent pregnancy. .

Since 1970, the world has seen a significant increase in the use of contraceptives, due to a significant shift from the use of less effective traditional methods to the use of contraceptive methods. more effective, modern contraceptives, including oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and male and female contraceptives. methods. However, there are still major gaps in usage.

Worldwide, the proportion of women of childbearing age using modern contraceptives increased from 28% in 1970 to 48% in 2019. Demand for satisfaction increased from 55% in 1970 to 79% in 2019. Despite the large increase, 163 million women currently not using contraception were deemed essential in 2019 (out of a total of 1.2 billion women needing contraception).

What is the difference that can lead to not reaching the goal?

In 2019, the availability of contraceptives still varies considerably between different regions and countries. Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania have the highest rates of modern contraceptive use (65%) and meet demand (90%); while sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rate of modern contraceptive use (24%) and meets demand (52%). Across countries, modern contraceptive use ranges from 2% in South Sudan to 88% in Norway. Unmet need was highest in South Sudan (35%), Central African Republic (29%) and Vanuatu (28%) in 2019.

The Family Planning Initiative 2020 (FP2020) aims to increase 120 million women using modern contraceptives between 2012 and 2020 in 69 priority countries. The study estimates that the number of women using contraception increased by 69 million between 2012 and 2019 in these countries (excluding Western Sahara), making the initiative fall short of its stated goal. out if this level does not change in 2020.

The study found that women and young people aged 15 to 19 and 20-24 had the lowest need response rates globally – estimated at 65% and 72%, respectively, compared with other groups. 15-24 year olds account for 16% of total need but 27% of unmet need – up to 43 million young women and adolescents worldwide do not have access to the contraceptives they are needed in 2019. The biggest gap globally is among young married women.

What might the lack of contraceptives mean for certain groups?

The types of contraceptives in use vary considerably by location. The authors suggest that the dominance of single methods may indicate a lack of adequate choices for adolescent women and girls.

In 2019, female sterilization and oral contraceptives dominated in Latin America and the Caribbean; oral contraceptives and condoms in high-income countries; IUDs and condoms in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Female sterilization accounts for more than half of contraceptive use in South Asia. In addition, in 28 countries, more than half of women are using the same method, which suggests that there may be some limited options in these areas.

Finally, the authors note some limitations in their study. The criteria used to identify women in need of contraception may not appeal to some women in need, including women with poor sexual performance due to social stigma (eg: women who have not had sex or are underage), women who are not sexually active because they lack contraception, or women who are not satisfied with their current method of contraception. In addition, the estimates are based on more data available from women with a partner than from women without a partner.

Source: Eurekalert

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