Contraception saves 250,000 lives each year: study

July 10, 2012

Contraceptive use saves the lives of more than a quarter of million women each year, either from death in childbirth or unsafe abortions, according to estimates published on Tuesday.

In 2008, 355,000 women died while or from illegal or dangerous abortions, a study published by The Lancet said.

But more than 250,000 deaths were averted that year because contraception reduced unwanted pregnancies, it said.

"If all women in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy use an effective contraceptive method, the number of maternal deaths would fall by a further 30 percent," according to the research.

The paper, led by John Cleland, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, appears in The Lancet on the eve of a "London Summit on Family Planning," promoted by the .

It is campaigning for the rights of 120 million women and girls to have access to family planning.

"Increasing contraceptive use in developing countries has cut the number of by 40 percent over the past 20 years," said the paper.

It also pointed to the benefits for child health and pregnancies that are planned and spaced out.

"In developing countries, the risk of and low birthweight doubles when conception occurs within six months of a previous birth, and children born within two years of an elder sibling are 60-percent more likely to die in infancy than are those born more than two years after their sibling."

The world's population reached seven billion last year and is likely to climb to around 9.3 billion by 2050, and more than 10 billion by 2100, according to UN estimates.

Demographic growth will be overwhelmingly concentrated in the , especially Africa.

Explore further: Teenage pregnancy deaths a 'global scandal': charity

Related Stories

Teenage pregnancy deaths a 'global scandal': charity

June 27, 2012
British charity Save the Children on Wednesday said it was a "global scandal" that 50,000 teenagers die each year due to pregnancy and childbirth complications.

Back-street abortions on the rise, global report warns

January 19, 2012
A long-term fall in the global abortion rate has tapered off and the number of unsafe pregnancy terminations is rising worryingly, according to a report published by The Lancet on Thursday.

Maternal deaths cut by half: UN

May 16, 2012
Better care has cut the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth by nearly half in the past two decades, but there is still a death every two minutes, according to UN figures released Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Mistletoe and (a large) wine: Seven-fold increase in wine glass size over 300 years

December 13, 2017
Our Georgian and Victorian ancestors probably celebrated Christmas with more modest wine consumption than we do today - if the size of their wine glasses are anything to go by. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have ...

Searching for a link between achy joints and rainy weather in a flood of data, researchers come up dry

December 13, 2017
Rainy weather has long been blamed for achy joints. Unjustly so, according to new research from Harvard Medical School. The analysis, published Dec. 13 in BMJ, found no relationship between rainfall and joint or back pain.

How well can digital assistants answer questions on sex?

December 13, 2017
Google laptop searches seem to be better at finding quality online sexual health advice than digital assistants on smartphones, find experts in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Healthy eating linked to kids' happiness

December 13, 2017
Healthy eating is associated with better self-esteem and fewer emotional and peer problems, such as having fewer friends or being picked on or bullied, in children regardless of body weight, according to a study published ...

Owning a pet does not seem to influence signs of aging

December 13, 2017
Owning a pet does not appear to slow the rate of ageing, as measured by standard indicators, suggest the authors of a study published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Increased air pollution linked to bad teenage behavior

December 13, 2017
A new study linking higher levels of air pollution to increased teenage delinquency is a reminder of the importance of clean air and the need for more foliage in urban spaces, a Keck School of Medicine of USC researcher said.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nerdyguy
5 / 5 (1) Jul 10, 2012
Quick, someone tell the Pope! Because he's all about saving lives.....right?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.