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Expanding Contraceptive Options for Postpartum Women in Ethiopia: Introducing the Postpartum IUD

This technical brief explores the process through which Pathfinder’s Integrated Family Health Program (IFHP+) has expanded availability of postpartum family planning, including the postpartum IUD, in Ethiopia.

Provision of voluntary contraceptive services during the postpartum period enables women and couples to avoid unintended pregnancy and yields positive health dividends for both the mother and newborn. Until recently, the copper-bearing intrauterine device was the only long-acting, reversible contraceptive method recommended for use by breastfeeding women, making it an important option for postpartum family planning. Yet, in Ethiopia’s public health sector, the postpartum IUD has been nearly absent from the contraceptive method mix, inhibiting full and informed contraceptive access and choice. Since 2013, Pathfinder International has been working with the government of Ethiopia to introduce and expand access to postpartum IUD services in the public sector through IFHP+.

IFHP+ is funded by the USAID-supported, Pathfinder-led Evidence to Action Project (E2A), and is jointly implemented by Pathfinder and John Snow, Inc.

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