Regional trends in the use of short-acting and long-acting contraception accessed through the private and public sectors

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2015 Aug;130 Suppl 3:E3-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2015.03.021. Epub 2015 Apr 14.


Objective: To examine trends in the source of modern contraception (public versus private sector); method choice (long-acting or permanent methods versus short-acting methods); and method and source combined.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted using data collected by national Demographic and Health Surveys and Reproductive Health Surveys during the period 1992-2012. The dataset included 18 low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, 10 from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and 8 from Asia.

Results: A substantial proportion-between 40% and 49%-of modern contraceptive users relied on the private sector in Asia and LAC in the last 20years, yet the proportion has been smaller in Sub-Saharan Africa, between 27% and 30%. Increased use of short-acting methods from both public and private sectors has driven the rise in contraceptive prevalence in Asia and LAC. Similarly, increased contraceptive prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa reflected the increased use of short-acting methods obtained mainly through the public sector, with only limited use of long-acting or permanent methods through the private sector.

Conclusion: The private sector has played a key role in the increase of modern CPR and the provision of modern contraceptives around the world, providing almost half of them in low-income countries. Yet, such increase was driven primarily by a more substantial role in the provision of short-acting methods than long acting and permanent methods.

Keywords: Contraception; Family planning; Fertility Rate; Long-acting and permanent methods; Method mix; Private sector.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Asia
  • Caribbean Region
  • Contraception / methods
  • Contraception Behavior / trends*
  • Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Planning Services / trends
  • Health Services Accessibility / trends*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Latin America
  • Private Sector / statistics & numerical data*
  • Public Sector / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies