WHO updates fact sheet on Family Planning/ Contraception (10 July 2017)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently updated its fact sheet on family planning/ contraception.

Background Information:

Family planning allows people to attain their desired number of children and determine the spacing of pregnancies.

It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of infertility.

Benefits of family planning/ contraception

  • Preventing pregnancy-related health risks in women
  • Reducing infant mortality
  • Helping to prevent HIV/AIDS
  • Empowering people and enhancing education
  • Reducing adolescent pregnancies
  • Slowing population growth

Key Messages:

Contraceptive use

Globally, use of modern contraception has risen slightly, from 54% in 1990 to 57.4% in 2015.

Regionally, the proportion of women aged 15–49 reporting use of a modern contraceptive method has risen minimally or plateaued between 2008 and 2015:

  • Africa 23.6% (2008) to 28.5% (2015),
  • Asia 60.9% (2008) to 61.8% (2015), and
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: stable at 66.7%.

Global unmet need for contraception

214 million women of reproductive age in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method. Reasons for this include:

  • limited choice of methods;
  • limited access to contraception, particularly among young people, poorer segments of populations, or unmarried people;
  • fear or experience of side-effects;
  • cultural or religious opposition;
  • poor quality of available services;
  • users and providers bias
  • gender-based barriers.

The unmet need for contraception remains too high.

Contraceptive Methods

Modern Methods

2017-07-15 20_01_08-WHO _ Family planning_Contraception header2017-07-15 20_02_46-WHO _ Family planning_Contraception 12017-07-15 20_04_01-WHO _ Family planning_Contraception 22017-07-15 20_04_46-WHO _ Family planning_Contraception 32017-07-15 20_05_45-WHO _ Family planning_Contraception 42017-07-15 20_06_20-WHO _ Family planning_Contraception 5

Traditional Methods

2017-07-15 20_01_08-WHO _ Family planning_Contraception header2017-07-15 20_06_57-WHO _ Family planning_Contraception 6

Useful Links:

Link to the updated fact sheet:


Link to WHO fact sheet on Emergency Contraception:


Link to WHO page on Family Planning:



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