Long-acting & Permanent Methods

Women and couples who want safe and effective protection against pregnancy would benefit from access to more contraceptive choices, including long-acting and permanent methods (LAPMs). LAPMs are convenient for users and effective in preventing pregnancy. They are also cost effective for programs over time, can result in substantial cost savings for governments, and contribute directly to reaching national and international health goals. Despite these advantages, LAPMs remain a relatively small, and sometimes missing, component of many national reproductive health and FP programs.[1]

LAPMs offer individuals and couples advantages that other methods of FP do not, and their provision gives women who want to space or limit their pregnancies more choices. For women and couples who want to delay or space their pregnancies, implants and IUDs offer long-term effectiveness and reversibility. These reversible LAPMs are effective for three to 12 years, depending on which method is chosen. Once either device is removed, a woman’s fertility returns almost immediately. Implants and IUDs are also options for individuals and couples who do not want any more children.

For women and couples who want to limit their pregnancies, female sterilization and vasectomy effectively prevent pregnancies throughout the reproductive years.[2] Mature family planning programs should ensure access to LAPMs for women and couples who wish to stop childbearing. In a study of 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, only 17 percent of contraceptive users who stated that they wanted to stop childbearing were using LAPMs.[3]

Key LAPM Resources:

[1] Family Health International. 2007. Addressing unmet need for family planning in Africa. /sites/default/files/LAPM_addressing%20unmet%20need%20in%20africa.pdf

[2] Family Health International (FHI). 2007. he Benefits of Long-Acting and Permanent Methods for Individuals. /sites/default/files/LAPM%20brief%20%20Benefits.pdf

[3] Pile J.M. et al. 2007. “Investing in the Future—The Case for Long-acting and Permanent Contraception in Sub-Saharan Africa” (secondary analysis of DHS data), paper presented at the Union for African Population Conference, Arusha, Tanzania, Dec. 10-14, 2007.