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3 contraceptive choices that give women control

March 7, 2016 by Tracy Romoser

Female-initiated contraceptive methods help give women more control over their sexual and reproductive lives, their own fertility, and decisions about whether, when, and with whom they’ll have children.

From left to right, the Woman's Condom, SILCS diaphragm, and Sayana Press.

From left to right: the Woman’s Condom, SILCS diaphragm, and Sayana® Press. Photos: PATH/Patrick McKern; PATH/Patrick McKern; PATH/Will Boase.

All women and couples—no matter where they live—should have access to a full range of family planning options.

Here are a few of the family planning innovations PATH has had a hand in designing, developing, testing, or delivering to women around the world.

The Woman’s Condom

Hand holding the Woman's Condom.

The Woman’s Condom. Photo: PATH/Patrick McKern.

The female condom is the only available woman-initiated method that provides dual protection from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Through a user-centered process, PATH and our partners developed the Woman’s Condom, a next-generation female condom designed to be easy to use and comfortable for both partners.

Read the press release “Woman’s Condom achieves WHO/UNFPA prequalification”

SILCS diaphragm

A group of women holding Caya diaphragms.

PATH and our partners are working to bring a one-size fits-most diaphragm to more women around the world. Photo: MatCH Research, South Africa.

PATH developed the SILCS diaphragm, a single-size silicone contraceptive barrier designed to expand women’s options for nonhormonal protection. Marketed as the Caya® contoured diaphragm, this diaphragm recently launched in the US and is in more than 25 countries, expanding contraceptive choices for women.

Sayana® Press

A close-up of a health worker's hands holding a Sayana Press device, with other women in the background.

Photo: PATH/Will Boase.

Sayana Press is a family planning method that combines a lower dose of the three-month Depo-Provera® contraceptive and needle together in the PATH-developed Uniject™ injection system. Community-based health workers and users themselves can administer Sayana Press with this easy-to-use prefilled device, increasing contraceptive access and options for women who must travel long distances for family planning services.

Ensuring access is integral to our work

Young woman wearing a short sleeve polo shirt.

We talk to women around the world to learn what reproductive health and contraceptive options they need to live healthy and full lives. Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.

Access to family planning options relies upon many factors, such as strong, healthy markets, but in many areas of the world, weak and often underfunded delivery systems can result in public health hospitals and clinics running out of these options.

A total market approach is based on an understanding that meeting the diverse needs of different population segments equitably requires increased attention on coordinating across market sectors—public, subsidized private, and commercial. PATH’s recently published guide and toolkit help to frame and shape this comprehensive process.

Read our total market approach guide and toolkit

As secretariat of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, PATH also helps to develop efficient supply chains to ensure women are able to access the contraceptive and reproductive health supplies they need.

Sayana Press and Depo-Provera are registered trademarks of Pfizer Inc. and/or its affiliates. Uniject is a trademark of BD.

Caya® contoured diaphragm is a registered trademark of Kessel medintim GmbH.