Studies in Family Planning. Volume 46, Issue 4, pages 343–353, December 2015
Contraception following delivery or an induced abortion reduces the risk of an early unintended pregnancy and its associated adverse health consequences. Unmet need for contraception during the postpartum period and contraceptive counseling and services following abortion have been the focus of efforts for the last several decades. This article provides an introduction to the more focused contributions that follow in this special issue. We discuss the validity and measurement of the concept of unmet need for family planning during the postpartum period. We then present key findings on postpartum contraceptive protection, use dynamics, and method mix, followed by an assessment of interventions to improve postpartum family planning. The evidence on postabortion contraceptive uptake and continuation of use remains thin, although encouraging results are noted for implementation of comprehensive abortion care and for the impact of post-abortion contraceptive counseling and services. Drawing on these studies, we outline policy and program implications for improving postpartum and post-abortion contraceptive use.