Report Examines Unmet Need for Contraception in Developing Countries
More than 100 million married women living in developing countries have an unmet need for contraception according to a new report released this week by the Guttmacher Institute. The study defines a woman with an unmet need if she “is married, in a consensual union, or never-married and sexually active; is able to become pregnant; does not want to have a child in the next two years or wants to stop childbearing; and is not using any method of contraception, either modern or traditional.”
The study identifies the populations with the greatest unmet need for contraceptive services in developing countries and examines why women with unmet needs are not using a contraceptive method. Some of the more common reasons the study finds that women do not use contraceptives include health concerns stemming from fear of possible side effects, and the belief that they are not at risk of getting pregnant.
“Family planning programs have made significant strides in reducing unmet need around the world and educating women about contraception, but there is still a long way to go,” said lead study author Gilda Sedgh, senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute.