Contraceptive methods can prevent more than 272,000 maternal deaths across the world. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that contraceptive methods can reduce maternal deaths by 44 percent.
"Promotion of contraceptive use is an effective primary prevention strategy for reducing maternal mortality in developing countries. Our findings reinforce the need to accelerate access to contraception in countries with a low prevalence of contraceptive use where gains in maternal mortality prevention could be greatest," said Saifuddin Ahmed, associate professor in Bloomberg School's Departments of Population, Family and Reproductive Health and Biostatistics, in a statement.
"Vaccination prevents child mortality; contraception prevents maternal mortality," he stated.
Researchers also claim that nearly 230 million unintended births could be prevented by using effective contraceptive methods.
Every year, nearly 358,000 women and three million newborn babies die across the world because of pregnancy and childbirth complications and pregnancy-related deaths mostly occur in developing countries. Researchers claim that in developing countries, 10 to 15 percent pregnancies end up in maternal deaths due to unsafe abortions.
To know exactly how many pregnant women can be saved by using contraceptives, scientists analysed data of several pregnant women aged between 15 and 49 in 172 countries. The data was retrieved from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations World Population Prospects databases.
The study found that worldwide use of contraceptive can prevent 272,000 maternal deaths, or 38 deaths per 100,000 women using contraception.The estimate is equivalent to a 44 percent reduction in maternal deaths worldwide.
"Unwanted fertility and unmet contraceptive need are still high in many developing countries, and women are repeatedly exposed to life-threatening pregnancy complications that could be avoided with access to effective contraception," said Amy Tsui, director at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School, in a statement.