(HealthDay News) – Since 1990, contraceptive prevalence has increased worldwide and the unmet need for family planning has decreased, but the absolute number of women with a demand for contraception is likely to increase by 2015, according to a study published online March 12 in The Lancet.
Leontine Alkema, PhD, from the National University of Singapore, and colleagues used data from nationally representative surveys for women aged 15–49 years to estimate and project indicators of contraceptive prevalence and unmet need for family planning from 1990–2015.
The researchers found that, worldwide, contraceptive prevalence increased from 54.8–63.3% from 1990–2010, and the unmet need for family planning decreased from 15.4–12.3% during the same period. Between 1990 and 2010, almost all subregions experienced an increase in contraceptive prevalence and decrease in unmet family planning requirements, although there was variation in the pace of change over time across countries and subregions. In 2010, worldwide, 146 million women had an unmet need for family planning. By 2015, the absolute number of married women who use contraception or have an unmet need for family planning is expected to increase from 900 to 962 million, with an increase anticipated in most developing countries.
“Trends in contraceptive prevalence and unmet need for family planning, and the projected growth in the number of potential contraceptive users indicate that increased investment is necessary to meet demand for contraceptive methods and improve reproductive health worldwide,” the authors write.