The Barriers Project
Women around the world face many barriers to family planning that separate them from the information and technology they need to limit their family size
For six years the Bixby Center and Venture Strategies for Health and Development conducted an extensive study examining the many barriers that stand between low income women around the world and the family planning methods they want. The results of this research suggest that the ease with which family planning is made available may be a greater determinant of any country’s average family size than exogenous structural or institutional changes including socioeconomic factors such as education, urbanization or wealth. In June, 2006 our paper, Barriers to Fertility Regulation was published in the journal Studies in Family Planning.
To read the paper click here Barriers to Fertility Regulation: A review of the literature
Common barriers women face:
Cost: The prices of contraceptives vary widely in different markets and between branded and generic products and the price of contraception does impact use. For example, an average price rise of 60 percent for condoms in a Bangladesh social marketing program caused sales to drop by 46 percent.
Distance: There is a correlation between the travel time from a woman’s home to any health clinic and the likelihood that she will use a contraceptive.
Medical barriers: Women are often subjected to unnecessary medical procedures as a prerequisite for gaining access to contraceptive methods. These procedures are frequently conducted without evidence to support their necessity and can be extremely expensive.
Misinformation: Women often have inaccurate information about the mechanism, risks and side effects of contraception. Common examples of misinformation include the belief that Oral Contraceptives and injectables can cause permanent infertility, that Oral Contraceptives will form a mass in a woman’s stomach or cause disease and that the IUD will float around in the stomach