Family Planning 2020 and Population Council have released a new report, Contraceptive Discontinuation: Reasons, Challenges, and Solutions, that looks at why women stop using contraceptives.
More than a third of women with an unmet need for modern contraception have used a modern method in the past but have chosen to discontinue use within the first year, and over one-half stop before two years. Discontinuation for reasons other than wanting to become pregnant can contribute to unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion.
The new report provides an in-depth look at reasons for discontinuation, interventions to reduce discontinuation and/or enhance switching to new methods, and measurement and monitoring of discontinuation.
The authors, Sarah Castle and Ian Askew, also propose a theory of change that identifies several pathways through which interventions addressing heath systems, service quality, and the sociocultural environment could reduce unnecessary discontinuation. The authors also outline a research agenda that should be addressed urgently if FP2020 is to meet its goal.