INDICATORS 5-8 : IMPACTS OF MODERN CONTRACEPTIVE USE
IMPACTS OF MODERN CONTRACEPTIVE USEIMPACTS OF MODERN CONTRACEPTIVE USE | FP2020 THE WAY AHEAD 2016-2017 /en/measurement-section/impacts-of-modern-contraceptive-use-indicators-5-8
Number of unintended pregnancies
The number of pregnancies that occurred at a time when women (and their partners) either did not want additional children or wanted to delay the next birth. Usually measured with regard to last or recent pregnancies, including current pregnancies
Number of unintended pregnancies averted due to modern contraceptive use
The number of unintended pregnancies that did not occur during a specified reference period as a result of the protection provided by modern contraceptive use during the reference period
Number of unsafe abortions averted due to modern contraceptive use
The number of unsafe abortions that did not occur during a specified reference period as a result of the protection provided by modern contraceptive use during the reference period
Number of maternal deaths averted due to modern contraceptive use
The number of maternal deaths that did not occur during a specified reference period as a result of the protection provided by modern contraceptive use during the reference period
From the midpoint of July 2016 through the midpoint of July 2017, modern contraceptive use by 309 million women across the 69 FP2020 focus countries averted an estimated 84 million unintended pregnancies, 26 million unsafe abortions, and 125,000 maternal deaths
Core Indicators 5 to 8 tell us about the impact of modern contraceptive use and the consequences of non-use. This set of indicators provides powerful information about why family planning is so important, and helps us to contextualize the impact that contraceptive use is having on the lives of women. By choosing to use modern contraceptives, women are less likely to experience unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and, ultimately, maternal deaths from complications during delivery or from unsafe abortions.
As a result of the more than 309 million women using modern contraception, 84 million unintended pregnancies were prevented from the midpoint of 2016 to the midpoint of 2017 compared to the number that would occur if no modern contraceptives were used. Preventing these unintended pregnancies has in turn averted 26 million unsafe abortions and 125,000 maternal deaths. These numbers represent the total annual impact of the more than 309 million women using modern contraception across FP2020 countries—not just the impact from the 38.8 million additional users of modern contraception in 2017. Figure 12 shows the distribution of these impacts by region, with the largest number of pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal deaths averted in South Asia due to the large number of women using contraception. As contraceptive use grows across the other regions, so too will the impacts.
It is important to recognize that even in 2012, contraceptive use was having a large impact: in that year, it is estimated that modern contraceptive use across the 69 focus countries averted 74 million unintended pregnancies. This means that in 2017, efforts to reach additional users and improve access to a range of methods have resulted in 10 million more unintended pregnancies averted annually than just 5 years ago.
Despite the large impact that modern contraceptive use has on reducing unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal mortality, an estimated 42.5 million women across FP2020 countries still experienced an unintended pregnancy from July 2016 to July 2017 (as shown in the Core Indicator 5 Estimate Table ). Most of these unintended pregnancies occurred among women who reported not wanting to get pregnant but who were not using modern contraception, while some occurred among women who were using a modern method but experienced a contraceptive failure.