Pakistan Demographic & Health Survey, 2017-2018

The Family Planning chapter of this report presents information on the knowledge, use, and sources of contraceptive methods, informed choice of methods, and rates and reasons for discontinuing contraceptives. It also examines the need for family planning and the demand for family planning that is satisfied. In addition, it provides information on decision-making about family planning, exposure to family planning messages, postpartum counselling received, and whether nonusers are contacting and discussing family planning with service providers.

The use of family planning helps women avoid unintended and untimely pregnancies, and reduces risks of unsafe abortions. Contraceptives help women space the births of their children, which directly benefits the health of the mother and infants.

Pakistan pledged to enhance its contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) to 50% to contribute towards Family Planning 2020 commitments (Jones 2016). This means reaching out and ensuring an additional 4.2 million women become users of family planning methods by 2022.

Key Findings:

  • Modern contraceptive use: Modern contraceptive use by currently married women has stagnated over the last 5 years, with 26% of women using a modern method in 2012-13 and 25% in 2017-18. The most popular modern methods among women are female sterilisation and male condoms (9% each).
  • Sources of modern methods: Women choose almost equally the public (44%) and private (43%) sectors in their use of sources of modern contraception. Lady health workers play a major role in dispensing injectables, oral pills, and condoms to women (18%, 26%, and 15% respectively).
  • Informed choice: Only 19% of women are informed about all three quality-of-service indicators (side effects, what to do in case of side effects, and other methods).
  • Contraceptive discontinuation: In the 5 years preceding the survey, 3 out of 10 contraceptive users (30%) discontinued use within 12 months. The most common reason for stopping a method was the desire to become pregnant (44%), followed by method-related health concerns or side effects (19%).
  • Unmet need for family planning: 17% of currently married women have an unmet need for family planning.
  • Future use of contraception: One-third (33%) of currently married women who are not using contraception intend to use family planning at some future time. Fortysix percent do not.