Women Deliver Conference, Washington, DC: The International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Guttmacher Institute today released two new fact sheets, one highlighting the sexual and reproductive health needs of young women worldwide and the other documenting the unmet need for contraception in developing countries.

Facts on the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescent Women in the Developing World compiles new analyses of data on young women’s lives, marriages, childbearing, education and contraceptive needs, and discusses the need to help them avoid unintended pregnancies and obtain appropriate methods of contraception. Each year, an estimated 6.1 million adolescent women in the developing world become pregnant unintentionally, the large majority after having used no method of contraception.

Facts on Satisfying the Need for Contraception in Developing Countries takes an in-depth look at the need for improved contraceptive services worldwide and the global benefits of meeting those needs. About 818 million women of reproductive age want to avoid pregnancy; 140 million of these women are not using any form of contraception, and 75 million rely on less effective traditional methods.

“Throughout the world, where fertility has declined substantially among women above 30 years old, the same has not always happened among younger women,” says Carmen Barroso, International Planned Parenthood Federation’s Western Hemisphere Regional Director. “We must advocate for resources earmarked to young women’s services and information; advocate for gender sensitive comprehensive sexuality education in schools; support policies to empower young women economically; and above all, we must promote the sexual rights of young women.”

“We know that an extra $12.8 billion annually is needed to meet the need for contraception and maternal and newborn care in developing countries. It’s an attainable goal if both donor and developing countries are truly committed,” says Sharon L. Camp, Guttmacher Institute President and CEO. “But the money needs to be spent in the smartest way possible, and that means investing in contraception at the same time that we invest in assisted delivery and newborn care. Helping women prevent unintended pregnancy frees up resources to provide universal maternal and newborn care. Remarkably, the combined investment in family planning and maternal and newborn services saves more lives than investing in maternal and newborn health services alone—and does so for $1.5 billion less than the stand-alone approach.”

Building on the global report Adding it Up, which documented the increased return when investments are made to sexual and reproductive health and maternal and newborn health programs simultaneously, these two four-page fact sheets were developed to inform strategic planning among advocates, government agencies and donors in the development of new interventions.

Click here for Facts on the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescent Women in the Developing World , also available in Arabic, French and Spanish