Barriers to family planning and contraception uptake in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review

Int Q Community Health Educ. 2012-2013;33(4):403-13. doi: 10.2190/IQ.33.4.g.


This review assessed barriers to uptake of family planning and contraceptive services among women in sub-Saharan Africa. Included were studies: (1) published in the English; (2) between the years January 2010 and July 2012; (3) that measure barriers to family planning/contraceptive methods; and (4) that use any quantitative or qualitative study design. Eleven studies fitting the inclusion criteria were reviewed. The major barriers found to prevent uptake of services included cultural and societal pressure on women, socioeconomic status, financial barriers, and regional barriers associated with lack of access to services. Due to the diversity of the populations in sub-Saharan Africa, it is clear that a one-size-fits-all approach will not be efficacious; rather, a strategy that takes into account cultural and societal norms for the population of interest is better.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Reproductive Behavior / ethnology*
  • Social Environment
  • Socioeconomic Factors