Updated family planning guide promotes empowerment, health and wellbeing – WHO

16 November, 2022

[ Read online: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/11/1130592 ]

Wider access to self-administered contraceptives and the use of digital technologies by providers are just two of the tangible measures outlined in the latest edition of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance on

family planning.

Experience from recent outbreaks shows that family planning services can be severely compromised during emergencies.

During the initial phases of the COVID-19 <https://www.un.org/coronavirus> pandemic in 2020, approximately 70 per cent of countries reported disruptions to these vital services – intensifying risks of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

The manual advocates for continued family planning support services during epidemics, including through wider access to self-administered contraceptives, pharmacy distribution and multi-month supplies.

“This updated Family Planning Handbook is a vital resource, helping health workers support contraceptive users around the world in making informed choices about the right contraceptive options for them”, said the senior

WHO official.


Self-administered contraceptives include condoms, contraceptive pills, some diaphragms, spermicides and most recently, the option of self-injection of a progestin-only contraceptive, called DMPA, which can now be safely

administered just under the skin rather than into

HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT gmail.com