Fertility and contraception in the Marshall Islands

Academic Article


  • Data on fertility and contraception in Micronesian women in the Marshall Islands were collected during a women's health survey in 1985. High total fertility rates were found. The reproductive pattern of many Marshallese women is one that has been associated with adverse health consequences: pregnancies in teenagers and in women over 39 years, high parties of four or more births, and short birth intervals. The practice of breastfeeding is declining in younger women. The prevalence of contraceptive use is low, and the availability of reversible methods is limited. Most contraceptive nonusers would like to practice contraception, but are inhibited by the lack of information about family planning. It is suggested that more attention needs to be given to family planning services in the Marshall Islands, in particular to improving the availability of reversible methods of contraception and of information about family planning. Further research is also needed on how family planning services might best be organized to maximize participation by women and their partners who wish to use such services. -Authors
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Levy SJ; Taylor R; Higgins IL; Grafton-Wasserman DA
  • Start Page

  • 179
  • End Page

  • 185
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 3