What are the most widely used contraceptive methods across the world?
Across the world, in 2019, of the 1.9 billion women of reproductive age (15-49 years), nearly half (922 million women or their partners) are contraceptive users: 842 million use modern methods of contraception and 80 million use traditional methods.
The most commonly used contraceptive methods are, in descending order, female sterilization (24% of women using a contraceptive method), the male condom (21%), the IUD (17%), the pill (16%), injections and implants (10%), and finally traditional methods (9% - withdrawal, calendar method and other traditional methods). A distinction is made between so-called permanent and long-acting contraceptive methods (sterilization, IUD, implants) and more occasional methods (pill, condom, hormonal injection).
The methods used by married women (or women in unions) are different from those used by unmarried women
Among contraceptive users, 779 million are married or in union. They use mostly permanent methods of contraception (50% of contraceptive methods used by married or partnered women), primarily female sterilization (26%) and the IUD (19%).
Among the 143 million users who are unmarried women, only 23 percent use permanent methods (most users of these methods are formerly married women), with the most commonly used methods being the male condom (33 percent) and the pill (26 percent).