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Contraception

We provide a full range of contraception so that every woman we meet can choose the method that is right for her.

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Increased access to contraception can make a positive and lasting difference to women, families and communities around the world.

We believe that every woman has the right to choose if and when she has a child, and the right to enjoy a healthy sex life without fear of the consequences. But for many, the reality is very different.

Today, there are 214 million women who don’t have access to contraception. That’s 214 million women who are unable to exercise their right to protect themselves from getting pregnant.

Contraception is about far more than preventing pregnancy

For some women, lack of access to contraception is a matter of life or death. Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries. And even if women are able to avoid childbirth complications, the impact of having several pregnancies in quick succession can lock them into a life of ill health and extreme poverty.

Contraception changes lives

At Marie Stopes International, we see the impact contraception has on the lives of our clients every day. We see how women and girls who can control their own fertility are more likely to be able to complete their education.

We see how families with the ability to choose whether and when to have children are less likely to fall into – or remain trapped in poverty. We see how children of families who have planned and controlled their fertility are more like to be healthy, fed and schooled.

We see how being able to prevent a pregnancy can give a woman the freedom to realise her ambitions and control her future. And we see that the social and economic benefits go far beyond the individual and transform whole communities and societies.

"Getting an education was my dream"

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

We’re working tirelessly to expand access to services and to offer the widest range of methods in every country we operate in.

Going wherever we’re needed

We will do whatever it takes to deliver contraception to women who need it.

Whether that means travelling vast distances to take our services to the most remote areas of the globe or working through periods of political instability.

Our teams are motivated every day by our commitment to help women have ‘children by choice, not chance’.

We want to reach 40 million people with contraception by 2020 – you can help us get there.

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Giving people more choices

We want to make it as easy and straightforward as possible for women to get hold of contraception. So we offer our services in several different ways – via our centres, out in the community and through our franchised outlets.

Alongside this, we offer the widest range of contraceptive methods we can, so that each woman can choose the type of contraception that best suits her particular situation and her plans for the future.

Our teams take the time that’s needed to talk through all the options with each client, providing just the right balance of medical facts and emotional support. So that women feel informed and reassured about whatever contraceptive choice they make.

In some of the countries we work in, we have pioneered the introduction of new methods of contraception. In Australia, for example, we helped to make a more effective five day emergency contraceptive pill available to all women. In Burkina Faso, we gave women access to Sayana Press, the three month injectable contraceptive.

Contraceptive methods used by our clients

Short-term contraception

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 contraception

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.

Copper IUD

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.

LNG-IUS

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.

Contraceptive implant

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.

Permanent contraception

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.

Emergency contraception

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.

Emergency contraceptive pill

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.

Copper intrauterine device (IUD)

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.

The impact of our services

We’ve made a promise to the women we serve, and we are not prepared to let them down – no matter where they are.

In 2018 we continued to deliver for the millions of women who rely on our services to build the life they want.

Going further than ever, across mountains, over rivers, on roads less travelled to provide high quality, safe services to women and girls, when and where they need them. Our programmes in sub-Saharan Africa alone travelled nearly 12 million kilometres throughout the year, that's the equivalent of flying to the moon and back - 15 times!

Today, there are over 30 million women around the world who can continue on their chosen path knowing they are being protected from an unintended pregnancy by a contraceptive method provided by us.

Read more about our impact in 2018

0 MILLION

women and men using MSI contraception

£0 MILLION

in direct healthcare costs saved

0

maternal deaths averted

0 MILLION

unintended pregnancies averted

0 MILLION

unsafe abortions averted

Shaping policy, defending reproductive healthcare

Despite the progress we have made and continue to make every year, there is still a huge unmet need for contraception worldwide. And this is likely to rise due to the re-introduction of the Mexico City Policy - a Republican policy that blocks US Government funding to non-US organisations that perform abortion with their own funding.

This will negatively impact not just women’s health and their opportunities for the future, but the longer-term economic prospects and stability of the world’s poorest countries. As a globally respected provider, we have an important role to play in addressing this and other policies that restrict women's access to reproductive healthcare. We are working closely with governments and donors to shape policy, deliver practical solutions, and explore the best ways to fund and deliver services.

And we are constantly innovating to expand our impact, and to make sure our contraception services will continue to save and change lives for as long as they are needed.

3 days ago

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25

25 years ago, the world took a stand and recognised Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) as human rights.

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Tuesday 24 September 2019

DFID increases funding for reproductive healthcare

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has announced a major funding commitment for sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights projects between 2020 and 2025.

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Tuesday 22 October 2019

Abortion is decriminalised in Northern Ireland

In a momentous victory for pro-choice campaigners, and healthcare professionals, women in Northern Ireland were this morning legally able to access abortion care at home for the first time.

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3 days ago

Global Declaration on Abortion

Evidence shows that restricting access to abortion does not decrease women seeking abortion, it only makes it less safe. We have signed a joint declaration calling for abortion to be safe and legal.

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Wednesday 09 October 2019

New podcast: the decriminalisation of choice

Last month, after a marathon 70 hours of debate in parliament, the state of New South Wales, Australia, voted to decriminalise abortion. Find out more about the road to make this happen.

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Wednesday 06 November 2019

MSI launches #SmashAbortionStigma campaign

Marie Stopes International – a leading global sexual and reproductive healthcare charity – is today launching a campaign to #SmashAbortionStigma.

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Wednesday 23 January 2019

Meet the women defying Trump’s Global Gag Rule

When President Trump re-enacted the Global Gag Rule in January 2017, the intention was to cut off pro-choice organisations like Marie Stopes International at the knees.

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Thursday 23 February 2017

Pop-up clinics in India

Our outreach teams in India are expanding access to long-term contraception, and helping women plan their families and futures, by setting up temporary clinics.

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Friday 04 May 2018

Faith Mwanret Pyentim - Outreach nurse

"I like this job because it is an avenue to help women, which is something I am passionate about."

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Friday 08 March 2019

Introducing the 'Avon Ladies' of contraception

Not all heroes wear a cape. Sometimes they wear pale blue overalls and go from door to door carrying a blue briefcase.

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Monday 12 September 2016

Naomi Mwansa – young client

I was scared to go to prison. I was worried about the number of years I would spend there. I was really scared.

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Friday 19 January 2018

Annie Ramasy

Annie Ramasy travels for up to six hours every day to provide family planning services to women in rural, isolated communities in Madagascar.

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Friday 11 May 2018

Bárbara Pérez - Midwife Project Coordinator

I believe that planning and using contraceptive methods helps a lot socially, economically, and especially in health.

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Monday 10 July 2017

Umah Dumbuya

"Getting an education was my dream, and taking contraception has allowed me to pursue that."

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Friday 17 November 2017

Snakes, bandits and Boko Haram

Snakes, bandits and Boko Haram - all in a day's work. But despite the many dangers, the team demonstrates a total commitment to the mission and improving the lives of their compatriots.

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Wednesday 14 June 2017

Rekha Rokhaya

Rekha is a call handler for Marie Stopes Nepal’s free helpline, she describes the work as "breaking down barriers."

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Wednesday 14 June 2017

Margaret Louve

“Having many children was never part of my plan,” says Margaret Louve, but a lack of consistent contraceptive uptake meant she became trapped in a succession of unplanned pregnancies.

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Monday 12 September 2016

Gifty Danwah – Market porter and client

I hadn’t used contraception before Marie Stopes. I said to myself this will change my life, and it has.

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Monday 12 September 2016

Paulina Marko Dahai – outreach client

My daughters must study. Education is the most important thing. I want them to go further than I did – this is my dream.

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Monday 12 September 2016

Philomena – young client

I want to learn how to sew clothes so I can make money and take care of my children. Having the implant will give me time to learn.

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Monday 12 September 2016

Scola Daffi Akonaay – outreach client

I didn’t know about the clinic before today. I came here for my baby to be vaccinated and saw that they were offering family planning services.

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Monday 10 July 2017

Mariam Haruna

"We had to run. All the pain of running is more than the pain of this insertion."

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Thursday 02 August 2018

Mary Benjamin

Watching nursing officer Mary Benjamin, it’s easy to see why she has chosen this vocation. In a small room crowded with young women at the Marie Stopes Bajaj youth club she takes centre stage.

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Friday 20 January 2017

Kudzai’s story

Kudzai Mujuru has always dreamed of becoming a nurse. When she fell pregnant aged 17, she was forced to put those dreams on hold.

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Monday 12 September 2016

Jane Vika Alfayo – young client

I didn’t want to give birth. I just felt like I wanted to abort my pregnancy, as I was in school, I was young, and I didn’t know how to take care of a baby.

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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Aminata Kabba

“Having a child at my age was a big mistake. But with contraception, I am empowered to return to school and proceed to college to achieve my dreams.”

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Monday 12 September 2016

Elizabeth Pappoe – Marie Stopes Ghana team member

I enjoy maternal and reproductive health a lot, as women are special.

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Monday 10 July 2017

Chap Si Yim

“I don’t need to worry about unwanted pregnancy and I can keep working to support my family.”

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Monday 12 September 2016

Lizzie Banda – Marie Stopes Zambia nurse

I have to work, for the people. That’s why I chose this career. I’m proud to work for my Zambian people.

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Wednesday 20 June 2018

Delivering for every woman

“I am tired, the suffering is too much. There is peace here, but no money.”

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Monday 12 September 2016

Afride Lyatuu – Marie Stopes Tanzania nurse

My job is good. It makes me happy. I like to be out here helping women and saving lives.

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Monday 12 September 2016

Willy Olomi – Marie Stopes Tanzania driver

I love my job because I have learned so many things that I didn’t know before.

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Monday 10 July 2017

Oeun Vichara

"The women who make the clothes at this factory rely on the money they earn here to support their families. They can’t afford to take time out if they fall pregnant."

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Thursday 08 March 2018

Meet the women pushing for change in Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, our extraordinary courageous and determined Marie Stopes Ladies are quietly but steadily pushing for change.

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Monday 12 September 2016

Mary Kaifineh

I became a nurse because I strongly believe that it is one of the most significant ways of serving humanity.

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Wednesday 14 June 2017

Sister Laeticia Dlovo

Since joining Marie Stopes South Africa in 1998, Sister Laeticia - known as Ma Letty - has seen the country liberalise its abortion law and make tremendous improvements in maternal health.

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Thursday 01 August 2019

Empower women to lead climate crisis solutions

What happens when women are empowered to lead climate crisis solutions? Our team in Zambia is exploring new ways of building more resilient communities.

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Wednesday 14 June 2017

Christiana Kposowa

Christiana planned on going to university but, with two small babies already, falling pregnant a third time was the last thing she needed.

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Friday 02 March 2018

When she decides...

The world is better, stronger and safer. In this story, we highlight some of the incredibly strong women we have met, whose stories linger with us.

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The Global Gag Rule means millions in the developing world could lose access to contraception

We will not turn our back on those who need us most.