Provider-controlled or user-dependent contraceptive methods: Levels and pattern among married women of reproductive age in China, 1988-2006.

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Objectives: To explore levels and patterns in contraceptive use since the introduction of informed choice in reproductive health services in China since 1994, and to assess the implications of reproductive health service needs among married women of reproductive age in China.

Material and methods: Data from Chinese nationwide surveys of family planning and reproductive health undertaken in 1988, 1997, 2001, and 2006 were analyzed to assess levels and trends in patterns of contraceptive use among married women by age, residence, and number of children. Contraceptive methods were classified into two categories: provider-controlled and user-dependent methods.

Results: The provider-controlled pattern for contraceptive use was predominant regardless of whether women were free to choose their own contraceptives. Older, rural women, and those with more than one child preferred provider-controlled contraceptive methods; this trend has changed little after 1997. In contrast, the user-controlled methods were preferred by young, urban women, strikingly with no or only one child, and geographically in more affluent areas in north or southwest China.

Conclusion: A preference for user-dependent methods is noted in the urban areas but inclination towards provider-controlled contraceptive methods is still prevalent in rural areas in China.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology