Background: Contraception in many developing countries is characterized by high unmet need, irregular access, low utilization and presumed demand for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).
Study design: A 13-country initiative focused on increasing consumer demand and high quality services for intrauterine devices (IUDs) began in 2009. Services were provided through (a) private sector-franchised or affiliated clinics; (b) providers seconded to the public sector and (c) special "event" days. Client intake data are used to compare the profile of IUD acceptors with IUD users from representative national datasets of select countries, as well as examine trends in IUD uptake.
Results: During 2009-2010, 575,601 IUDs were inserted across the 13 countries. Compared to national IUD users, users in this project were slightly younger and less educated. Among IUD acceptors, 24% used no modern method at the time of IUD initiation, and 28% reported injectable use in the three previous months.
Conclusions: Convenient, quality, affordable services with demand creation can result in significant uptake of LARCs in settings with low use.
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