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Use of Modern Contraceptives

Indicator Phrasing

% of mothers with children aged 0-23 months using (or whose partner uses) a modern contraceptive method
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of mothers with children aged 0-23 months using (or whose partner uses) a modern contraceptive method

French: % de mères ayant des enfants âgés de 0 à 23 mois utilisant (ou dont le partenaire utilise) une méthode contraceptive moderne

Spanish: % de madres con hijos de 0 a 23 meses que utilizan (o cuya pareja utiliza) un método anticonceptivo moderno

Portuguese: % de mães de crianças com idades entre 0-23 meses que usam (ou cujo parceiro usa) um método contraceptivo moderno

Czech: % matek dětí ve věku 0-23 měsíců, které používají (nebo jejichž partner používá) moderní antikoncepční metody

What is its purpose?

The indicator assesses the proportion of mothers with young children who use contraception to avoid or delay pregnancy. This practice is essential for reducing the significant risks associated with closely spaced pregnancies and high fertility.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of mothers with children aged 0-23 months:



Introduction: Now I am going to ask two more sensitive questions. There are no right or wrong answers, so please be as honest with your answers as you can. I would again like to assure you that your answers will be kept secret and they will not be shared with anyone living in this area.


Q1: Are you or your partner currently doing something or using any method to delay or avoid getting pregnant?

A1: yes / no


(ask the following question only if the previous answer is YES)


Q2: What is the main method that you or your partner use to delay or avoid getting pregnant?

A2 (only one answer possible; do not read the options)

  1. pill
  2. intra uterine device
  3. injectables
  4. implants
  5. male condom
  6. female condom
  7. diaphragm
  8. foam/jelly
  9. lactational amenorrhea method
  10. standard days method / cyclebeads
  11. abstinence
  12. female sterilization
  13. male sterilization
  14. exclusive breastfeeding

Note: adjust the options based on your pre-testing and knowledge of the most common options. See WHO's overview of "modern contraceptive methods".



To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of mothers with children aged 0-23 months using one of the modern contraceptive methods listed above by the total number of interviewed mothers. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

Disaggregate by

Consider disaggregating the data by location (rural/urban), socio-economic characteristics (wealth quintile, level of education), respondent’s age or marital status. 

Important Comments

1) It is important that you understand the main limitation of the proposed methodology - it only measures the proportion of women using contraception. It does not consider whether the respondent is currently pregnant, trying to conceive a baby, whether she has a sexual partner, and other reasons for not using contraception. If you want to assess the proportion of women who currently do not wish to become pregnant but who are not using a contraceptive method (i.e. the "unmet need for family planning"), you will have to use a much more complex methodology (read guidance at Measure Evaluation's website). 


2) Consider including additional question assessing the main reasons for not using contraception. If the answer to Q1 is "no", you can ask:

Q: What is the main reason why you do not use a contraceptive method?

A: (multiple answers possible) 

1) does not have a partner

2) does not have sex

3) is currently pregnant

4) thinks that she is pregnant

5) wants to get pregnant

6) does not agree with using contraception (for religious or other reason)

7) her partner does not agree with using contraception

8) someone else in her family / community disagree with her using contraception

9) does not know any contraceptive method

10) does not know where to purchase contraception 

11) feel too shy or affraid to go and purchase contraception

12) the contraceptive method she uses is not available

13) does not have money for purchasing contraception

14) is affraid of contraception's side effects

15) is exclusively breastfeeding

16) other reason - specify: ...........................


3) This topic can, in many contexts, be very sensitive – consider therefore only having women as your interviewers.


This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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