Our Topic pages provide a brief background on important issues in family planning and reproductive health, and connect you to a curated list of high-quality resources for continued learning. Are we missing a critical topic? Let us know.
Advocating for Family Planning Policy
Advocacy is essential to reaching the Family Planning 2020 goal of delivering contraceptives, information, and services to an additional 120 million women of reproductive age worldwide by the year 2020.
Community-Based Family Planning
Community-based family planning (CBFP) brings family planning information and contraceptive methods to women and men in the communities where they live rather than requiring them to travel to health facilities.
Contraceptive security exists when every person is able to choose, obtain, and use quality contraceptives and other essential reproductive health products whenever they need them.
Contraceptive Technology Innovation
Continued investment in contraceptive technology innovation will enable people worldwide to choose from a broad selection of family planning methods to meet their changing needs.
Engaging Men and Boys in Family Planning
Though traditional family planning programs focus primarily on women, men are often the primary decision makers about family size, health services, and family planning methods. Many women cannot make family planning decisions or access services and products without their male partners’ permission, agreement, or financial support. Programs that optimize the constructive engagement of men can improve health outcomes for women, men, and families.
Family Planning Workforce
The health workforce includes personnel who provide health services, such as doctors, nurses, and community health workers, as well as those who support health services, such as hospital managers and supply chain managers. Supporting the family planning health workforce is essential so that countries can increase contraceptive prevalence rates, reduce unmet need for family planning, and meet the Millennium Development Goals and other targets.
Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy
Healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy promotes informed decision-making about delaying, spacing, or limiting pregnancies to achieve the healthiest outcomes for women, newborns, infants, and children. HTSP centers on free and informed choice with respect to fertility intentions and desired family size.
Integrating Family Planning and HIV Services
Integration improves health outcomes by offering comprehensive sexual and reproductive services to women and couples who are affected by HIV and at risk for unintended pregnancy. Delivering these services separately results in a missed opportunity that may weaken their effectiveness and quality and stall progress toward achieving key health outcomes and safeguarding human rights.
Integrating Family Planning and Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Services
Pregnancies spaced too closely together pose serious health risks to both mothers and children, yet many postpartum women have an unmet need for family planning. Capitalizing on opportunities to provide family planning information, services, and referrals when mothers and children are already at a health facility to receive safe delivery, immunization, nutrition, or other health services can save time and money and reach more women with essential services.
Knowledge Management for Global Health
Knowledge management—the process of collecting and curating knowledge and connecting people to it so they can act effectively—is at the heart of global health systems.
Linking Family Planning and Global Development
Family planning improves not only the health but the overall well-being of women and families around the world. With the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals, the extensive ripple effect of family planning’s benefits across the various goals remains clear.
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives
Long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARCs, are an essential part of the contraceptive method mix because they are highly effective yet reversible and removable at any time.
Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy
Adolescent pregnancy is a global public health and human rights concern. Each year more than 7 million births occur to girls under age 18, and 2 million of those births occur to girls under 15. Childbearing is one of the leading causes of death among adolescent girls and can result in lasting physical, social, and economic harm to both the young mothers and their children.
Total Market Approach to Family Planning
A total market approach to family planning harnesses the resources of the entire range of health care providers—public, private (nonprofit and commercial), and donor—to ensure that all people who want family planning services can access them, regardless of their ability to pay.