Demand for family planning satisfied by modern methods

Export Indicator

Percentage of women of reproductive age (15–49 years old) who have their demand for family planning satisfied with modern methods
What it measures

Progress towards increasing the capacity of women and adolescent girls to access sexual and reproductive health services using the most effective methods

Rationale

This indicator assesses progress towards increasing the capacity of women and adolescent girls to access sexual and reproductive health services and being able to exercise their right to control and freely decide on matters related to their sexuality and sexual and reproductive health. It reflects the right of women and adolescent girls to decide whether and when to have children and having the methods to implement this decision.

This indicator is also used to measure progress towards Sustainable Development Goals target 3.7, which aims to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and integrating reproductive health into national strategies and programmes by 2030.

Sexual and reproductive health services are also an entry point for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services, and their integration will be key to ensuring the sustainability of HIV-related services.

Numerator

Number of women 15–49 years old who are using modern contraceptive methods

Denominator

Total number of women 15–49 years old with a demand for family planning

Calculation

Numerator/denominator

Method of measurement

Population-based surveys (Demographic and Health Survey or other representative survey)

Measurement frequency

Every 3–5 years

Disaggregation

Age (15–19, 20–24, 25–49 and 15–49 years)

Explanation of the numerator

The numerator includes all women 15–49 years old who were using modern contraceptive methods at the time of the survey. The following are considered modern contraceptive methods:

  • The pill (oral contraceptives)
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Injectables
  • Female sterilization
  • Male sterilization
  • Female condoms
  • Male condoms
  • Implants
  • Emergency contraception
  • Standard days method
  • Lactational amenorrhoea method (LAM)
  • The diaphragm
  • Foam or jelly.
Explanation of the denominator

The denominator includes all women of reproductive age (15–49 years old) who have a demand for family planning. Women are considered to have a demand for family planning if they want to delay, space or limit childbearing. A woman is considered to have a demand for family planning if:

  • She or her partner is currently using a contraceptive method.; or,
  • She has an unmet need for family planning:
  • Women who are currently pregnant or postpartum amenorrhoeic whose current pregnancy or last birth was unwanted or mistimed, or,
  • Women who are currently married or sexually active and able to become pregnant who say that they want to delay pregnancy by two or more years or do not know when or whether they want any more children and who are not currently using any contraceptive method.

A detailed explanation of the calculation of unmet need can be found in the following document: Revising unmet need for family planning: DHS Analytical Studies 25 (https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/AS25/AS25%5B12June2012%5D.pdf).

The denominator includes women who are not using any contraceptive method as well as those who are using a modern or a traditional contraceptive method.

 

Strengths and weaknesses

By referring to modern methods, this indicator measures access to more effective methods of contraception, which will lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies and improved maternal and child health.

Construction of this indicator requires complex calculations. The consistent application of a standard definition can provide measures of demand for family planning satisfied by modern methods that are comparable over time and across countries.

Further information

Demand satisfied by modern methods indicator snapshot [video]. Rockville (MD): DHS Programme; 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RceOuLjJwKY&feature=youtu.be).

Bradley, Sarah E.K., Trevor N. Croft, Joy D. Fishel, and Charles F. Westoff. 2012. Revising Unmet Need for Family Planning. DHS Analytical Studies No. 25. Calverton, Maryland, USA: ICF International (https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/AS25/AS25%5B12June2012%5D.pdf).