Contraception not only prevents pregnancy. It changes lives.
When women and girls have access to contraception, they can take control of their futures. They can choose to stay in school, pursue a career, and drive positive change in wider society.
With over 40 years’ experience delivering reproductive healthcare services, we’ve seen these transformational benefits first-hand. Our contraceptive services have supported girls like Umah to complete their education, mothers like Margaret to pursue a career, and women in communities on the frontline of the climate crisis to be make the reproductive choices that enable them to adapt in emergency situations.
Umah is a big advocate of education, as she is one of very few young women in her community to have gone to university.
Lots of her friends dropped out or were forced to leave school because they fell pregnant, but Umah chose a different path.Read Umah's story
Stories like Umah’s are what motivates us to continue doing all we can to expand access to contraception, but we know we have our work cut out for us. Across low-and middle-income countries, 218 million people currently want but lack access to contraception. That’s 218 million people who are unable to make the reproductive choices that are right for their lives, bodies, and futures.
Many of our clients like the flexibility of using a short-term method of contraception, particularly if they are unsure about when they might want to have children in the future.
Using a short-term method means they can stop using it whenever they are ready to start a family or decide they want to have more children. We offer two types of contraception within this category – short-term barrier methods and short-term hormonal methods.
The short-term barrier contraceptives we offer are the female and male condom.
The short term hormonal methods we offer are the combined oral contraceptive, the progestin-only pill, Depo injectable, and emergency contraceptives.
Long-acting reversible methods of contraception are methods that offer protection against pregnancy for a number of years.
Despite their long-term nature, they are also suitable for women who wish to delay pregnancy for one to two years.
Many women prefer the convenience of these methods rather than needing to remember to take a pill every day, or having to get an injection every month. The vast majority of our clients choose long-acting or permanent methods of contraception and in many of the countries where we work, Marie Stopes International is the only provider of these methods.
We can offer clients three long-acting reversible methods including a copper IUD, an LNG IUS, or a contraceptive implant.
The copper intrauterine device (IUD) is a small copper-coated device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus through her vagina and cervix by a specially trained healthcare provider. Once in place, it can prevent pregnancy for 10 to 12 years.
The levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) is a small plastic device that is inserted through the vagina and cervix by a specially trained healthcare provider. By steadily releasing small amounts of the hormone levonorgestrel every day, it prevents the womb lining from thickening enough to enable an egg to implant and grow. Once in place it prevents pregnancy for five years.
The implant is a small plastic rod or capsule, about the size of a matchstick, that releases the hormone progestin. A specially trained provider performs a minor surgical procedure to place the implant under the skin on the inside of a woman’s arm. The implant keeps a woman’s progestin levels artificially stable and prevents the body from preparing itself for pregnancy. Once in place, it prevents pregnancy for three to five years.
We offer two permanent methods of contraception – tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men.
Both are minor surgical procedures, suitable for women and men who are certain that they don’t want to have any more children, or for people who wish to remain childless.
The vast majority of our clients choose permanent or long-acting methods of contraception and in many of the countries where we work, Marie Stopes International is the only provider of these methods.
If a woman has had unprotected sex and wants to protect herself against pregnancy, we can offer emergency contraception.
We offer two types of emergency contraception – the emergency contraceptive pill and the copper intrauterine device.
The emergency contraceptive pill – also known as the morning-after pill – can help to prevent pregnancy when taken up to five days after unprotected sex.
The copper IUD can be inserted up to five days after unprotected sex. Once inserted, it will continue working for as long as the woman wishes to keep it in place, from a few weeks up to 10 years.
If you are here looking for services, we may be able to assist you depending on where you live and your situation. Please head to where we work via the link below to find your local service.