The demand for FP exists in different forms; actual use of methods gives only a minimum estimate of total demand. Latent demand exists among two types of nonusers: those who wish to avoid pregnancy but are not currently using FP (those with an unmet need for FP), and those who might wish to avoid pregnancy if they had more information about the benefits of spacing or limiting births. For many, latent demand can be translated into actual use when programs advance positive attitudes toward FP/SRH, address myths and misconceptions, provide evidence-based information about FP/SRH-related issues and risks, and promote available services.
Individuals, families, and communities need the knowledge, capacity, and motivation to ensure FP/SRH and to encourage people to seek services. This requires a range of social and behavior change communication (SBCC) interventions—from reducing the direct and indirect costs of FP to mass media communication, community outreach, and peer education. Such SBCC approaches need to provide clear, factual, and unbiased information, so as to increase people’s knowledge and self-efficacy; promote communication among couples, among peers, and within families; and encourage people to seek care and use services. Further, such interventions should be synergistic and mutually reinforcing; this ensures that individuals and families receive consistent information and messages from a variety of different sources and in a range of formats.