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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 Long-term Contraceptives Preferred in State: Experts

Long-term Contraceptives Preferred in State: Experts

The slump in the usage of condoms in Maharashtra as a preferred choice of contraception, feel experts, may be a partial depiction of the situation. While some say the simultaneous dip in the abortion figures may indicate increasing use of the morning–after pill, experts feel it may be attributed more to the growing use of sophisticated contraceptives. Also, doctors and health experts feel that there is still a huge divide in contraception preferences between urban and rural areas.
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“While people are showing an increased preference for intra–uterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs) in the longterm, emergency contraceptives do have their market, but have not replaced the normal contraceptives,” said an expert.

And statistics can throw results which may not be entirely representative of the exact situation and are often only indicative, say some doctors. Secretary general of the Family Planning Association of India Vishwanath Koliwad said the government should also take into consideration the sales of condoms through commercial outlets. Not everyone may buy them from a government hospital or centre, he said. But, differences between methods of contraception in rural areas and cities can make it difficult to generalize preferences.

For instance, in Mumbai, demand for IUCDs, which provide protection for 10 years, has shot up mostly among the educated. But it is not the case in rural areas, said Koliwad, who are all for vasectomy or tubectomy. Gynaecologist Dr C Purandare said the acceptance of IUCDs is little more than 5% in India as opposed to 60% in countries like China. It is however, gradually picking up, he said.

In Mumbai, the preference for oral pills has been going down. Head of gynaecology department of the JJ Hospital Dr Rekha Davar could not agree more. Oral pills have side–effects and the idea of a healthy person taking a pill every day does not go down with many, she said. For couples who have already raised a family both IUCD and sterilisation can be excellent methods, she said.

Davar added that contraceptive usage trends can vary from time to time. Condoms, however, have their dual advantage of preventing pregnancy and protecting against sexually transmitted diseases, she said. “In our state couple protection rate is way above 60% and that is a fairly good achievement,” she said.

About the city, authorities from the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) say increased Condom usage has indeed controlled HIV/AIDS to a great extent. Condom usage figures have been about 300–400% more than desired and that way the city is doing fine, said Dr S S Kudalkar, project director, MDACS. Koliwad however, feels to ensure better fertility, oral pills or IUCDs should be promoted.

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Source: Times of India




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