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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 Condom Use Down in State, But Up in City

Condom Use Down in State, But Up in City

Condom Use
Family planning authorities in Maharashtra are faced with a very peculiar situation. Data pertaining to contraception methods in the last three years indicate that Condom usage has fallen drastically, but so has the number of medical terminations of pregnancies, mostly arising out of unwanted pregnancy, hinting that contra–ception concepts may be undergoing a landmark change.

Many feel it could mean heightened acceptance of better contraceptive methods like intrauterine contraception devices (IUCD) or sterilisation rather than condoms which have a greater failure rate. But on the flip side, it could mean a spurt in cases of sexually–transmitted diseases.

Recently published figures suggest that Condom usage in the state has gone down by about 35% since 2007. While there were about 5,56,486 users in 2007, it had come down to 4,21,038 in 2008 and further to 3,65,036 till December last year.

In Mumbai, oral pill users have gone down drastically but sterilization among both men and women has picked up like never before.

The city, on the other hand, has shown the thumbs up to Condom usage. BMC statistics state that Condom usage has actually reached an all–time high in 2009.

Lower Condom usage scary, say experts
The number of condom users in the city has been increasing every year as against the trend in state, said Dr Asha Advani, in charge of family planning, BMC.

Interestingly, the dip in the use of condoms has not led to any spurt in unwanted pregnancies or medical termination of pregnancies, suggest the figures. In the past three years, abortions have rather been on the lower side. It had slumped from 76,206 cases in 2007 to 67,879 cases in 2008. A marginal increase was recorded in 2009 with 71,021 abortions. The fall in number of abortions in the city as well as state could be because of easy availability of emergency contraception, said Dr Advani.

But, state health experts feel the decline in condom usage is scary. Either people are indulging in unsafe sex or using the easily available emergency contraception, said a state government official, who is studying the surprising figures and looking into the possible changes in contraception preferences. No condoms would mean more HIV cases or sexually transmitted diseases, the officer said.

Even oral pill usage had dipped marginally in the last two years. Mumbai particularly has seen a huge plunge in the number of oral pill users. But, gynaecologists feel an increased acceptance of the IUCD could be the reason why pills have fewer takers.

Head of the gynecology department of J J Hospital Dr Rekha Davar said that, earlier, IUDs could prevent pregnancy for three to five years. Now, they provide protection for as many as 10 years. It could mean that women need contraception just twice in their entire fertility period, she said, adding that it was a very good spacing method.

BMC figures too suggest that IUD users in the city have been coming down by a few thousands every year. The numbers will only slump every year as more and more women go for IUD as it is not something they need every year, said Advani. For city women, sterilisation (tubectomy) has also emerged as a preferred choice as against regular oral pills.

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Source: Times of India

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