World Contraception Day 2018: Empowering Women to Lead Healthy and Productive Lives

At IPM, we believe that for women to stay healthy and thrive, they must be able to protect their sexual and reproductive health—conveniently, discreetly and on their own terms.

Unfortunately, millions of women have an unmet need for modern contraception. Every year, more than four in 10 pregnancies in developing countries are unplanned, often leading to serious complications or death during pregnancy and childbirth.

In many of the same regions, HIV/AIDS poses an overlapping threat. In sub-Saharan Africa—where more than one in five women have an unmet need for contraception—young women are more than twice as likely to become infected with HIV as young men.

These sobering statistics have barely budged in recent years. Meeting women’s urgent sexual and reproductive health needs requires expanding their options, from improving access to existing products to developing new ones. Women’s options must be as varied as their needs and circumstances, which change across their lifetime.

Researchers are making tremendous progress toward offering women more woman-centered prevention methods. Earlier this year, the first one-year contraceptive ring, developed by the Population Council, received US Food and Drug Administration approval.

At IPM, we are also working tirelessly to give women greater control over their sexual and reproductive health by developing self-initiated and discreet products such as a three-month ring that provides simultaneous protection against HIV and unintended pregnancy. This multipurpose ring entered a second safety trial this year. Other researchers are developing long-acting rings that could protect against HIV and other STIs along with unintended pregnancy.

Today, we celebrate the progress being made by so many as we continue working toward a future where every woman is empowered to choose the products she needs to lead a healthy and productive life.

Happy World Contraception Day from all of us at IPM!