Pakistan’s Family Planning Landscape: Challenges and Way Forward


The current population of Pakistan is 208.57 million FY2020 million as compared to 204.73 million in the previous year. There is approximately an acceleration of 2% population change annually. Pakistan is the 5th most populous country in the world contributing a 2.83% share of the world population. It is growing with a fertility rate of 3.55%. Family planning is pursued by a married couple to adopt the practices of birth spacing, which is one of the finest measures to control the population. SDG 3 (Sustainable Development Goal 3; Good Health and Well Being) can be achieved only by emphasizing the health of women following contraceptive methods provisionally to address family planning. The awareness of family planning provisionally and regionally in Pakistan can help in achieving SDG 3 and also avoid unplanned pregnancies, risky abortions, and health hazards. Modern practices of family planning are used by inhabitants of Pakistan such as female sterilization (9%), male condoms (9%), injectables (3%), intrauterine devices (2%), and implants (0.4%)

According to Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2017-2018, 34% is the contraceptive prevalence rate at the age of 15-49 and currently, it has been decreased to 26%. Furthermore, 25% of married women used the contemporary contraceptive method and 9% used the conventional methods. The precautionary measure in process of childbearing by women living in Pakistan is taken after having four children. The practice of contraceptive methods is more common in women having more than three children.


  • The pharmacist along with wholesale sectors due to their staunch beliefs find that it is religiously impermissible to sell and distribute contraceptive products and to limit childbearing.
  • The fear of side effects of using contraceptive methods due to prior experience of bleeding, irritation, and the altered menstrual cycle has led to a decrease in demand for family planning in rural and urban areas of Pakistan.
  • Budgetary crunch and inadequate allocation of the budget provincial and regional bases have caused health hazards.
  • Around 40% of the provincial population is devoid of lady health workers, which are the main sources of awareness for male and female education in terms of family planning.
  • Sociological, people residing in rural areas of Pakistan believe that all events are inevitable, and they feel ashamed of using precautionary measures of a modern contraceptive of family planning.
  • Population exploitation on an economic basis in rural areas as they think that children can earn a livelihood for the family, and they prefer economic gains over family planning.
  • Inefficient and inadequate distributive channel of contraceptives, which is the prominent issue of supply sectors prevailing in rural areas as the rural markets are diffused with low economic gains.
  • Weak communication channels to address the importance of family planning.

Way Forward

  • The procurement of contraceptives has been initiated by the provincial government as it was only governed previously by the federal government of Pakistan.
  • The provincial government should focus on perspective family planning policies along with the effective implementation of those policies so that FP policies become universal in Pakistan.
  • Family Planning and Primary Health Care (FP & PHC) program with prime health services deliverance under the project of Ehsas project is striving to control the population.
  • According to Pakistan Economic Survey 2019-2020, 100,000 lady health workers have been employed by FP & PHC to ensure effective health services including birth spacing.
  • Catalyze public and private services to improve the distributive channel of contraceptives by focusing on commercial marketing and method of provision to increase the demand, and incentivize the supply sector (pharmacies, wholesalers, and retailers) to universalize family planning in Pakistan.


Family planning is important to regulate the population in terms of health and education. As per the Malthusian Theory of Population, the resources must be increased with the exponential increase of population to maintain the standard of living. There must be some preventive and positive checks by the government for effective management of family planning.


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