Sexual and reproductive health

Contraception discontinuation and switching in developing countries

Research policy brief

WHO, Department of Reproductive Health and Research

Front cover

Publication details

Number of pages: 4
Publication date: 2012
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/RHR/12.15


Successful use of contraceptives depends on many factors. Important influences no doubt include the degree of commitment to regulating reproduction, inter-partner discussion and agreement on reproductive goals and the means to achieve them, and sociocultural factors that condition beliefs about particular methods.

A growing body of evidence also supports the commonsense expectation that the quality of family planning services affects the ability of couples to use contraceptives successfully. Thus, information about the dynamics of contraceptive use will help to identify weaknesses in family planning services and suggest corrective action. For instance, discontinuation of use that is not followed by prompt recourse to an alternative method carries the possible implication that the range of readily accessible methods may need to be widened. This policy brief presents selected findings from an analysis of 60 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHSs) that collected relevant information.