If a practice has not stocked IUDs or implants before, it may be challenging to estimate patient demand. The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition recommends forecasting demand for new contraceptive products based on a combination of patient, provider, and finance factors [10]. The figure below shows possible sources of information about each of these factors.

For example, if a provider is able to count the number of referrals given for LARC methods in the last year, this figure can be divided by 12 to find average monthly demand. A reasonable starting point might be to order a three-month supply.

Forecasting when demand is uncertain: sources of information

A provider may also be able to assess demand by screening patients for their interest in LARC methods when they are scheduling an appointment or using a brief survey filled out in the waiting room. See a sample survey below.

Forecasting when demand is uncertain: sample survey to assess patient interest

This survey is only intended to assess potential demand for LARC methods. Quality family planning care should include counseling patients on all methods regardless of how a patient responds to the survey.

Providers may find that the cost of the LARC method determines how many a practice can afford to stock. See the sections on obtaining supplies and lower cost supplies for more information on defraying the costs of procurement.