Family planning

We believe that everyone should have the right to choose whether and when to have children, no matter where they live.

Zambian women looking at an IUD

There are still more than 200 million women around the world who want to use contraceptives but cannot access them.

A matter of life and death

For some, not being able to control the number and spacing of their children is matter of life and death. Some 358,000 women die each year – mostly in poor countries - as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. For others, having too many children to support locks them into extreme poverty.

At Marie Stopes International, our goal is to give people a choice, so they can manage their own families, and their own futures.

Committed to providing choice

For those women who choose to prevent a pregnancy, we provide a full range of modern family planning methods, along with counselling about each option so they can make an informed choice that’s right for them.

We’re committed to providing choice in family planning. We offer both short term methods such as condoms, and long term methods, such as IUDs and implants, allowing clients to make informed choices about the most suitable contraception for them.

As well as expanding choice in contraceptive methods, we’re also increasing choice in the types of outlets where people can access family planning services.

Reaching the under-served

In order to reach the people who need our services most – those in remote rural areas or poorly served urban slums – we use a variety of different delivery channels.

Mobile outreach teams travel out from our centres to take family planning services to hard-to-reach communities in more than 30,000 locations.

We also work with networks of existing private healthcare providers and now have 2,900 providers including doctors and midwives who belong to our innovative social franchise network, driving up quality and choice in contraception services.  

Delivering impact

We measure our impact in family planning by estimating the number of couple years of protection, or CYPs, we have provided. Over the past five years, our family planning services have expanded in all the regions we work in. In 2012 we provided over 20 million CYPs, which averted 11,000 maternal deaths and 5.3 million unintended pregnancies.

You can read more about the benefits of our work in the impact section of the website.

Supporting innovation

Innovation is part of our pioneering core value, and has been central to our success and history to date. It is also essential to achieving our strategic goals as well as our pledge at the London Summit on Family Planning. Evolving our centres, expanding choice, increasing the reach of our services and improving clinical quality require us to remain innovative.

Our Innovations Fund gives teams and programmes the support to pilot their new innovation. If successful, they have the potential to transform access to the services we provide, improve efficiency and, catalyse other public and private health providers who deliver family planning and safe abortion services.

In 2012, among the programmes that received funding through the scheme were MSI Afghanistan, who will pilot solar powered centres, and MSI Cambodia who plan to develop and test an SMS-based client follow-up system designed to improve post-abortion family planning.

To find out more about the programmes where Marie Stopes International provides voluntary family planning information and services, please visit the where in the world section of our website.

Family planning case studies: