World Contraception Day (WCD): What You Need To Know

by Ogo Obudulu MD, MPH Last updated on September 28th, 2017,

Today, September 26th is World Contraception Day (WCD). To avoid unplanned pregnancy, abortions and the spread of saxually transmitted diseases, conducting educational activities on the issues of sax education and family planning are essential. According to the World Health Organization, WHO, there is a global unmet need for contraception. Millions of women of reproductive age globally who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method. Reasons for this include limited choice of methods, limited access to contraception, particularly among young people, poorer segments of populations, or unmarried people, fear or experience of side-effects, cultural or religious opposition, poor quality of available services, users and providers bias and gender-based barriers. The unmet need for contraception remains too high. This inequity is fueled by both a growing population, and a shortage of family planning services.

A large percentage of people have had unsafe sax at some point, which is one of the major causes of deaths due to unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion. While the term birth control is used in a broader sense to prevent unwanted pregnancies, contraception refers to the methods and devices that are adopted for birth control. Using these can also reduce the risk of acquiring many saxually transmitted diseases (STDs) according to the World Health Organization, WHO.

Benefits of family planning / contraception

Promotion of family planning – and ensuring access to preferred contraceptive methods for women and couples – is essential to securing the well-being and autonomy of women, while supporting the health and development of communities.

Preventing pregnancy-related health risks in women

A woman’s ability to choose if and when to become pregnant has a direct impact on her health and well-being. Family planning allows spacing of pregnancies and can delay pregnancies in young women at increased risk of health problems and death from early childbearing. It prevents unintended pregnancies, including those of older women who face increased risks related to pregnancy. Family planning enables women who wish to limit the size of their families to do so. Evidence suggests that women who have more than 4 children are at increased risk of maternal mortality.

By reducing rates of unintended pregnancies, family planning also reduces the need for unsafe abortion.

Reducing infant mortality

Family planning can prevent closely spaced and ill-timed pregnancies and births, which contribute to some of the world’s highest infant mortality rates. Infants of mothers who die as a result of giving birth also have a greater risk of death and poor health.

Helping to prevent HIV/AIDS

Family planning reduces the risk of unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV, resulting in fewer infected babies and orphans. In addition, male and female condoms provide dual protection against unintended pregnancies and against STIs including HIV.

Empowering people and enhancing education

Family planning enables people to make informed choices about their saxual and reproductive health. Family planning represents an opportunity for women to pursue additional education and participate in public life, including paid employment in non-family organizations. Additionally, having smaller families allows parents to invest more in each child. Children with fewer siblings tend to stay in school longer than those with many siblings.

Reducing adolescent pregnancies

Pregnant adolescents are more likely to have preterm or low birth-weight babies. Babies born to adolescents have higher rates of neonatal mortality. Many adolescent girls who become pregnant have to leave school. This has long-term implications for them as individuals, their families and communities.

Slowing population growth

Family planning is key to slowing unsustainable population growth and the resulting negative impacts on the economy, environment, and national and regional development efforts.

Contraceptive use

Contraceptive use has increased in many parts of the world, especially in Asia and Latin America, but continues to be low in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, use of modern contraception has risen slightly, from 54% in 1990 to 57.4% in 2015. Regionally, the proportion of women aged 15–49 reporting use of a modern contraceptive method has risen minimally or plateaued between 2008 and 2015. In Africa it went from 23.6% to 28.5%, in Asia it has risen slightly from 60.9% to 61.8%, and in Latin America and the Caribbean it has remained stable at 66.7%.

Use of contraception by men makes up a relatively small subset of the above prevalence rates. The modern contraceptive methods for men are limited to male condoms and sterilization (vasectomy).

Contraceptive methods

Here are some safe birth control and contraception options that medical experts recommend.

Male and female condom

The male condom is made of thin latex. It is put over the panis to stop the sperm from entering the virginia. Condoms can offer protection against STDs and do not need any advance preparation for use. These do not have any side effects as well. However, it is important to learn how to use a condom to avoid the risk of it slipping off. On the other hand, a female condom is made of thin polyurethane. It lines the virginia to stop the sperm from entering.The advantages are similar to that of a male condom.

Progesterone injection

This is a reversible contraception method which is effective for about 13 weeks. This injection can also be used by breastfeeding mothers. This injection is also said to offer protection from pelvic inflammatory disease and womb cancer in women.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

This is a small plastic and copper device inserted into the uterus and a long-acting reversible contraception.While it can stay for about 10 years, it can also be removed when needed by a health care professional. Once an IUD has been inserted, there is no need to take any other form of contraceptive. However, one must be careful in the first few days and follow the doctor’s instructions to avoid the chances of an infection.

Contraceptive patch

This is a more recent form of contraception wherea small patch is stuck to the skin, which releases estrogen and progesterone. This helps in stopping ovulation. However, it can cause some temporary side effects such as headache and nausea and is not advised for women who smoke or for those above the age of 35.

Progestogen-only pill

This pill contains the hormone progesterone and is an oral contraceptive.The advantage of this method is that it can also be used by those women who are older than 35 or smoke. However, as it is a daily contraceptive, missing even one dose can make it less effective. There can also be temporary side effects such as nausea and headache.

Natural family planning

Natural family planning is done through an understanding of the fertile and infertile times of during a menstrual cycle. It can be effective if the calculation is done accurately. The best part about this method is that it is devoid of any hormones and does not require any device. However, it is important to keep a daily record.

Female sterilisation

This is a permanent method. It is usually adopted by those who do not wish to have any more children. In this method, the fallopian tubes of a woman are cut or sealed through an operation. There may be a slight discomfort after the operation which tends to go away after some days.

Vasectomy

Vasectomy or male sterilisation is a permanent contraception method for men. In this method, a surgery is done to cut, seal or ties the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the man’s panis.There may be slight discomfort which will go away in few days.

World Contraception Day is annually observed on September 26.

This day was observed for the first time in 2007, when it was initiated by ten international family planning organizations.

All international non-governmental organizations, that support observance of World Contraception Day, have a vision of a world where every pregnancy is wanted. Observation of this day raises public awareness of the means of contraception.


Photo: World Contraception Day: Contraception options

Sax educative programs are targeted at young people. Awareness of contraception and reproductive health will let avoid unplanned pregnancy, abortions and spread of saxually transmitted diseases.

Organizations responsible for observance of World Contraception Day call on conducing educational activities on the issues of sax education and family planning. These activities also draw attention to the problems arising due to neglecting the means of contraception. This event is organized under the motto “Contraception: it’s your life, it’s your responsibility”.

It is imperative to follow safe and effective contraceptive advice to avoid unwanted pregnancy and enjoy a sax life devoid of worries. While there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing a contraceptive method, there are some parameters such as the number of existing children, the desire to have more children, health of the couple, age, frequency of intercourse, and chances of infection which should be considered.

With so many available options, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor and understand what will work best for you depending on these associated factors. This way, the information will come from a reliable source and help you in making an informed decision. When it comes to health, only facts will work.

Author

Ogo Obudulu MD, MPH

Ogo Obudulu MD, MPH

A Board Certified Physician (American Board of Internal Medicine) , Dr Obudulu, the Deputy Chief Editor performs editorial supervision and reviews of all health related content in the health and science categories regardless of who authored the post before it is published
Phone
Email

Leave a Reply