Family planning is the use of contraception to limit or space out the number of children born to a couple, and the provision of contraceptive methods for that use. 

Family planning is widely recognized as a highly cost-effective health intervention, especially due to its effects on reducing unintended pregnancy and reducing sexually transmitted disease. It has been estimated that $1 spent on family planning can avert from $2 (in Ethiopia) to $9 (in Bolivia) in health costs, with an average of $8 for all women using all modern contraceptive methods.[1]

Effect on maternal mortality

Contraceptive use reduces the risk of death per birth by preventing high-risk pregnancy.[1][2] These include but are not limited to pregnancy in the very young, pregnancy in older women, births that are spaced very close together, and high parity births (births that occur in a woman who has already given birth many times).

Effect on child mortality

In developing countries, children born two years or earlier after an older sibling were at a 60% increased risk of death in infancy, while those born between two and three years had a 10% increase, compared with those born after intervals of four to five years.[3] Contraceptive use to increase the birth interval therefore reduces child mortality.[1]

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