This analysis investigates the determinants of contraceptive discontinuation in six developing countries, using data from Phase I surveys of the DHS programme. Cumulative probabilities of discontinuation at 24 months for reasons other than the desire for another child were examined. By this time, typically about 40% of couples have stopped use and most are subsequently at risk of an unwanted conception. Discontinuation of IUD use was found to be less common than for other methods, partly perhaps because cessation of use requires a deliberate decision to have the device removed. The most important results are negative ones. Neither the schooling of couples nor their type of residence exerted appreciable influence on discontinuation. The policy and programme implications are discussed. Prior use of a method, fertility preferences and the related demographic factors of age and family size emerged as pervasive predictors of discontinuation.