Roughly one-quarter of the world’s population — 1.8 billion people — is between 10 and 24 years of age. Among the many sexually active adolescents worldwide, large numbers want to avoid, delay or limit pregnancy but lack the knowledge, agency or resources to make decisions regarding their reproduction. On average, unmet need for contraception is greater among unmarried adolescents than those who are married, however married adolescents ages 15-19 experience a higher percentage of unmet need than all married women.
The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) conducted a review of literature to identify what is known about adolescents’ demand for and access to family planning information and services. This review aimed to identify the barriers to and programmatic approaches for increasing adolescents’ access to and use of family planning services, and to identify gaps in the evidence that require further research and/or investment.