Millions of Indian Women use Modern Contraceptives

The FP2020 report shows how millions of Indian women are now using modern contraception methods, preventing 23,000 maternal deaths in 2020.

Millions of Indian Women use Modern Contraceptives-f

"India remains committed towards this global agenda"

Around 139 million women have started using modern contraceptives in India, according to a new report released by Family Planning 2020 (FP2020).

The report shows the improvements made in family planning over the past eight years, which are quite impressive worldwide.

Since 2012, the amount of modern contraceptive users has doubled in 13 low-income countries.

The contraceptive use by more than 314 million women and girls has prevented millions of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal deaths.

In India alone, the use of modern contraceptives has averted many areas of sexual issues faced by the country.

This includes 54.5 million unintended pregnancies, 1.8 million unsafe abortions and 23,000 maternal deaths.

In 2017, India updated its FP2020 commitment with two concrete goals:

  • Investing $3 billion of domestic resources in family planning by 2020
  • Increasing the country’s modern contraceptive prevalence for married women from 53.1% to 54.3% by 2020

The country has satisfied both these commitments by also fulfilling 74% of the demand for modern contraceptives.

According to the report, modern contraceptive methods reflect women’s preferences and the contexts they live in, including local availability and providers.

The report lists seven methods, but injectables continue to be the most common contraceptive in use, with 25 out of 69 state members using this exact method.

In 11 countries, the most common method is used by more than 60% of modern users to get a better picture, indicating substantial method skew.

In India, the method mix is skewed toward female sterilisation, representing 75% of modern use.

Skew toward a method can be strongly driven by the healthcare system, contraceptive availability, and how and where women access contraceptives.

Limited health infrastructure may lead women to buy contraceptives in shops and pharmacies, limiting their choice to pills and condoms.

The FP2020 report documents how India is one of the countries with the highest domestic government expenditure levels, showing its commitment to its family planning programmes.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan expressed his gratitude, and celebrated the crucial Family Planning 2020 partnership, by remarking that India has always valued being part of this partnership.

Commenting on India’s achievements, Dr Vardhan said:

“Improving the quality of contraceptives, augmenting contraceptive demand through comprehensive IEC campaigns, and focused interventions in high fertility districts through Mission Parivar Vikas, have been few of the country’s notable achievements.

“As a result, we have witnessed an impressive decline in fertility and maternal mortality in the last few years.

“We continue to strive to substantially reduce the unmet need for contraception by 2030.”

For the next phase of the partnership, Dr Vardhan revealed:

“We realise that advancing collaborations, adopting a more focused approach, and addressing the needs of young population will be of prime importance.

“India remains committed towards this global agenda.

“The overall aim thus, is to plan and implement this refurbished approach with the vision that every child is wanted, every birth is safe, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity.”

The partnership has played a key role in exchanging knowledge about the latest contraceptives and the best practices to accelerate the implementation of family planning services.

Family Planning 2020 is a global community of partners working together to promote and advance rights-based family planning. It was launched at the London Summit on Family Planning in 2012.

Its main goal was to enable 120 million more women in 69 of the world’s poorest countries to use voluntary modern contraception by 2020.

Manisha is a South Asian Studies graduate with a passion for writing and foreign languages. She loves reading about South Asian history and speaks five languages. Her motto is: "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

Image Courtesy: Travis Grossen and RH supplies