With renewed attention to human rights and family planning, attention is being paid to what it means for programs to offer a full range of contraceptive methods. Currently, the UN estimates that the method mix is unbalanced in many countries, with one or two methods accounting for most use in many countries. Such a skewed method mix constrains contraceptive use and limits the contraceptive options of women and couples.
Women’s contraceptive needs change over the course of their lives. At some points they may want to space their births, at other times limit the number of children they have. Ensuring that a range of contraceptive methods is available to meet women’s changing needs over their life course is a critical program and policy issue.
The Evidence Project is exploring women’s contraceptive preferences during different stages of their lives—married and unmarried adolescents, and women in early and later stages of childbearing. The project is generating evidence to help implementers introduce an expanded method mix that is acceptable, feasible, and sustainable.