Contraceptive Use


Contraceptive use is a yardstick for measuring success in family planning programs worldwide, based on the results of a nationally representative survey (such as the Demographic and Health Survey, DHS, and Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, MICS). One tracks progress in family planning at the national level, the regional level or for the capital city (such as Kinshasa) by tracking CPR over time.

Policy makers and program managers often use the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) or modern contraceptive prevalence rate (MCPR) to gauge how well a country is doing in increasing the use of family planning methods. Although other factors influence the CPR (such as level of education, status of women, economic factors, and cultural norms), it remains a key indicator for evaluating family planning programs in a given country, province, or capital city.


  • Use accepted sampling techniques; the results are considered highly credible in international circles
  • Capture use of contraceptives that require a clinic visit as well as those that do not require any contact with a health service (and thus would not be counted in routine service statistics)
  • Very expensive to conduct and analyze
  • Does not provide data at the district level