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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume

Contraceptive effectiveness

Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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Contraceptive effectiveness  (CONTRACEPTIVE effectiveness)

Family planning implies a concern with planned parenthood 1 or responsible parenthood 1, i.e., the desire to determine the number and spacing of births in conformity with the best interest of each couple, or of society. The number of children expected by a couple may differ from the desired number of children 2 and/or intended number of children 2 reported by the couple in a survey. Even if these goals are not revised, they may be exceeded as a result of contraceptive failures 3 ; the frequency of the latter depends on contraceptive effectiveness 4 which has two aspects. Theoretical effectiveness 5 or physiological effectiveness 5 indicates how reliable a method is when used all the time according to directions. Use effectiveness 6 measures its reliability when used in everyday situations by a given population. Reasoning in terms of residual fecundability (638-7), use effectiveness is usually measured by the contraceptive failure rate 7 which relates the number of unintended conceptions to the length of exposure to the risk of conceiving.

  • 2. In other terms, birth expectations differ from reproductive intentions. A distinction is made between desired family size, the number of children a woman, man or couple wants to have, and the ideal family size which they envision for their society. Intended family size may be lower than desired family size.
  • 3. Unplanned births are often opposed to planned births.
  • 4. 5. and 6. Efficacy is a synonym for effectiveness in these expressions.
  • 4. Not to be confused with the demographic effectiveness of a family planning program (see 626-7), or of a method in a population.