Contraceptive Trends in the Developing World: A Comparative Analysis from the Demographic and Health Surveys

Shane Khan, Macro International Inc.
Vinod Mishra, Macro International Inc.
Fred Arnold, Macro International Inc.
Noureddine Abderrahim, Macro International Inc.

This study examines trends and differentials in key family-planning indicators in 35 developing countries. The study investigates how knowledge and utilization have changed; whether public/private, urban/rural, and other socioeconomic differentials in contraceptive use have narrowed; and whether women are making informed contraceptive decisions. It also examines discontinuation and switching and men’s involvement in family planning. Results indicate that knowledge levels are near universal in most countries, yet knowledge of multiple methods, despite increases over time, remains considerably lower, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Current use has been increasing consistently in most countries, but levels remain lower in sub-Saharan Africa. About half of current users are informed about alternative methods and side effects. Most women have switched methods. Discontinuation rates are particularly high in sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, urban/rural and educational differentials in current use are narrowing, but remain substantial in sub-Saharan countries.

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Presented in Session 53: Contraception