Contraception & family planning programmes

Key terms

  • Contraception: methods or devices to prevent pregnancy

  • Total fertility rate (TFR): average number of children per couple

Family planning programmes


  • Improvements in mortality

  • Concerns about population growth (Malthusian catastrophe)

  • Economic case

  • Surveys showing demand

  • Development of modern methods

  • Use of incentives/penalities/targets

International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD), Cairo, 1994

  • Family planning programmes attacked for ignoring broader needs of women for using targets, high-pressure tactics

  • FP for population control replaced by wide agenda of women's health, empowerment and rights

    • Rights-based family planning: agency and autonomy (capable of acting by themselves), availability, accessibility, acceptability, quality, empowerment, equity and non-discrimination, informed choice, transparency and accountability, voice and participation

  • New emphasis on needs of single women and men's responsibilities

  • Consequences:

    • FP funding falls

    • Worries about rapid population growth disappears from the international debate

    • HIV/AIDS eclipses FP as an international concern

Development of contraceptive methods

  • Oral contraceptives: 1960

  • Intrauterine device (IUD)

  • No-scalpel vasectomy

  • Implants (1990)

  • Injectable contraceptives

  • Female condom

  • Emergency contraceptive

  • IUS (hormonal) (2000)

  • Vaginal rings

  • Patches

  • Female sterilisation, non--surgical device

  • Vaginal rings