Context: The reproductive choices made by young women and men have an enormous impact on their health, schooling, employment prospects and overall transition to adulthood.As the largest cohort of young people in history enter their childbearing years, their reproductive behaviorwill determine the growth and size of theworld's population for decades to come. Methods:Demographic andHealth Survey data frommore than 40 countrieswere used to examine the proportions of 15-19-year-old women who are currentlymarried or are unmarried but sexually active; their rates of contraceptive adoption, current use, discontinuation, method switching and contraceptive failure; trends in these indicators;and comparisonswith olderwomen. Results: Inmany countries, the proportion of adolescentwomen using contraceptives increased substantially over the last two decades;prevalence among adolescents increased faster than among olderwomen.Greater proportions of adolescents than of olderwomen discontinued using a contraceptivemethodwithin a year or experienced contraceptive failure. Conclusions: Adolescent contraceptive use is growing, and comparedwith adult use, is characterized by shorter periods of consistent usewithmore contraceptive failure andmore stopping for other reasons.Use through the reproductive years is likely to grow, fueled further by growth in the numbers of young people.An expanded demand for contraceptive supplies, services and information can be expected to challenge the preparedness, capacity and resources of existing family planning programs and providers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development