When women and their partners have access to a wide range of contraceptive methods, they are better able to plan and space their births. This leads to positive health, social and economic outcomes for women, families and society. The Guttmacher Institute documents the need for, access to and use of contraceptives and provides the evidence base for public investment in high-quality and affordable family planning services that provide a full range of methods, comprehensive and accurate information, and effective counseling.
A woman’s risk of unintended pregnancy is often treated as a stable characteristic. New research shows that a woman’s risk of pregnancy, along with her contraceptive use, can change over a relatively short period of time. Her feelings about having a child, as well as her sexual activity, can fluctuate, and those fluctuations can influence how much she prioritizes contraception.