Due to poor information and lack of knowledge, sterilization procedures are avoided, especially by men.
Since 2007, many countries and organisations around the world mark September 26 as World Contraception Day. The day is observed in order to raise awareness about contraception, and reproductive rights, and to empower women and men to choose how and when to get pregnant.
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While many might be aware of some of the commonly used contraceptive methods, most people do not use them correctly. This leads to the contraceptives being far less effective and increases the chances of unwanted pregnancies.
The most common form of contraceptives used in India, condoms come in two types – male and female. Both condoms work by acting as a separating layer which prevents the sperm from meeting the egg.
Oral contraceptives - Oral contraceptives come in many forms, with a variety of hormonal cocktails. Some oral contraceptives prevent the release of eggs from the ovaries while other contraceptives thicken the mucous walls of the uterus to prevent implantation. There are also emergency oral contraceptives which also prevent pregnancy by delaying ovulation. These are usually taken every day, while the emergency contraceptive pill can be taken up to five days after having unprotected sex.
Implants - Implants work on a similar chemical basis to oral contraceptive pills. Most implants are inserted underneath a woman’s skin and continuously release hormones which prevent implantation. These implants can last up to three years but are known to have a wide variety of side effects.
Contraceptive injections - Contraceptive injections are usually administered every few months and either prevent implantation or the release of the egg itself. The injections contain hormones like progesterone and estrogen. Much like other hormone-based contraceptives, some women experience a variety of side effects.
Contraceptive vaginal ring - A contraceptive vaginal ring is a small plastic ring that is placed inside the vagina where it releases the hormones estrogen and progestogen to prevent pregnancy by preventing the release of eggs from the ovary.
Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) - Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are contraceptive devices that are inserted inside the uterus of a woman to prevent fertilization. Copper IUDs prevent fertilization by damaging the sperm while other IUDs prevent the sperm from meeting the egg.
Lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) - Lactational amenorrhea is the temporary infertility of a woman post-partum and during lactation. If a couple fulfils all the guidelines then the LAM is extremely effective up to 6 months after birth.
Fertility awareness methods - Fertility awareness methods rely on using a variety of methods to avoid sex during the most fertile periods of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Using multiple methods can make fertility awareness an effective contraceptive method but it can be prone to failure due to higher chances of human error.
Withdrawal - Withdrawal or coitus interruptus is a commonly used contraceptive method that is not very effective. This method involves withdrawal before ejaculation.
Sterilization - Tubal ligation or vasectomy is one of the safest methods of contraceptives and has extremely low chances of failure. However, due to poor information and lack of knowledge, sterilization procedures are avoided, especially by men.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
First Published: IST