Although the percentage of women with steady sexual partners who use at least one contraceptive method has grown significantly over the past two decades — from 55 percent in 1990 to 63 percent in 2010 — 233 million women around the world will lack for contraception by 2015, according to a new United Nations study.
The study, published Monday in The Lancet, focused on partnered-up women age 15-49 because they constitute large proportion of the women who are "at risk" for pregnancy, according to study author Dr. Ann Biddlecom, chief of the fertility and family planning section at the U.N. Population Division.
"The gains in contraceptive prevalence and the reduction in unmet need for family planning since 1990 are indeed significant," Biddlecom told The Huffington Post. "But some parts of the world are still coping with high unmet need for family planning."
More women from southern Asia used contraception, as well as women in eastern, northern and southern Africa. But access isn't so great in central and western Africa: By 2010, fewer than one in five women in those areas used any method.
University of London researcher John Cleland wrote in an editorial accompanying the study that (via HuffPo) "the expansion of community services in target areas is critical, but not more important than efforts to address hostility toward contraception as well as widespread perceptions that certain types of birth control can have adverse health effects." Wise man!