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Unintended Pregnancy Decreasing; Quality Of Family Planning Care Improving Across India

  • India has made respectable gains over the past 2.5 years in improving family planning access and use of contraceptives among women.
  • More women are using contraception, unintended pregnancy is decreasing and the quality of family planning care is improving across the country.
  • There is a tendency pan India to use modern contraceptives like pills, male condoms, female condoms, female sterilization, male sterilization, injectables, beads, LAM, emergency contraception, and IUDs.
  • Access to long-acting methods continues to be a challenge, with few public and private SDPs offering injectables and IUDs.

India has made decent strides over the past two and a half years in improving family planning access and use of contraceptives among both married and unmarried women. In certain states like Rajasthan, a majority of married women are using modern contraceptives lives pills, male condoms, female condoms, female sterilization, male sterilization, injectables, beads, LAM, emergency contraception and IUDs.

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More women are using contraception, unintended pregnancy is decreasing, and the quality of family planning care is improving across the country.

Performance Monitoring & Accountability 2020 (PMA2020), a global partnership that supports the rights and interests of women, is collecting these data on a pan India basis. The PMA2020 project is being implemented in Rajasthan in association with IIHMR University.

It has found by PMA2020 that female sterilization remains the most common form of contraception in Rajasthan with 65 percent of married modern method users are sterilized.

While female sterilization remains the most common method in Rajasthan, some women are opting to use short-acting forms of contraception, such as birth control pills and male condoms. Of married women who use modern contraception, 9.9 percent report using birth control pills and 19.3 percent report using male condoms. Long-acting methods that are reversible are not widely used. While many public service delivery points have supplies for IUD insertion and removal, acceptance is still low, and only about three percent of married women who are using a modern method have an IUD. Injectable use has increased slightly, most likely due to its recent expansion in the state.

“Unwanted and unplanned pregnancies are decreasing across the country which is a positive development. There is a tendency pan India to use modern contraceptives. Despite these gains, disparities remain between the wealthiest and poorest women for access and use. Additionally, access to long-acting methods continues to be a challenge, with few public and private SDPs offering injectables and IUDs,” said Dr. Anoop Khanna

As far as equity and gender parity in matters of contraception choice is concerned in Rajasthan, it has been found that women choose method of contraception with partner. Of the 85.6 percent of women using contraception who chose the method either themselves or with their partner, 58.6 percent are choosing their method jointly with their partner and 19.5 percent of women using contraception chose the method themselves. Based on the survey results, poorest women are more likely to choose a method alone (26.0 percent) compared to the richest women (19.4 percent) although in general choosing a method alone is less common than a joint decision.

More than three-fourths of public facilities offer at least three modern contraceptive methods Among public facilities surveyed, about 88 percent offer at least three modern contraceptive methods and 35 percent offer five or more modern contraceptive methods. About 98 percent of Community Health Centers (CHCs) and about 97 percent of Primary Health Centers (PHCs) in Rajasthan offer three or more methods, while about 97 percent of public hospitals offer five or more methods.

Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, U.S.A. is supporting IIHMR University in implementing the PMA2020 project in Rajasthan.

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