Why or how does it play such a major role in the betterment of a society? I have a little story to share. Like all women, my friend was also super excited about her wedding. It was the perfect match, the man was perfect with a well-paying job, loving family and most importantly he was a man with a heart of gold. Are you wondering how our discussion on contraception fits into the scheme of this here?
Let me explain. Here’s what happened! Couple of days before their big day, my friend’s to be husband made it very clear to her that he does not want to use any contraceptive. But, he did not want a child for a year at least. And, that he also did not want her to use a barrier method of contraception (female condoms) either! The other conditions laid down by her to be partner was also that she had to lose weight and remain slim for the rest of her life. This is kind of a heard story right? It does not come as a surprise.
Now, my friend was in atotal fix. There were so many terms and conditions and unfortunately she had no say in the matter. It was told to her and she had to follow it. She was not very keen on OCPs (Oral Contraceptive Pills) given their side effects like weight gain, nausea, sore or swollen breasts, lighter or heavy periods, mood changes, abdominal pain and headaches. So what other option was she left with?
IUCD (Intrauterine Contraceptive Device)-It is a small contraceptive device, often ‘T’-shaped, containing either copper or levonorgestrel, which is inserted into the uterus. They are one form of long-acting reversible contraception which are the most effective types of reversible birth control.
Was my friend aware that it is not advisable to use IUCDs unless you have conceived at least once? Nope! She wasn’t aware nor did she take any medical advice. So just to keep her husband happy, she opted for IUCD.
What happened next?!!
She started having adverse effects like excessive bleeding during menses, abdominal pain, and loss of weight and before we knew it, she looked under nourished.
What led to all this? Who was to be blamed? Was it the girl’s fault? Or was it her husband, who had the notion that using a barrier method reduces the pleasure or the basic psyche that the girl must to do all that pleases her husband irrespective of what the consequences could be. I would say all three and most importantly it’s the lack of knowledge about contraception.
I am saddened by the thought that some people still think contraception is unnecessary as it decreases libido and that it’s a taboo. Well, trust me folks it is not so. When one uses contraception, they can avoid unwanted pregnancies and space planned pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes.
When a pregnancy is planned, one can start prenatal care, including increasing their intake of folic acid; work with the gynecologists to address relevant medical conditions, as well as substance abuse; and take other steps that lead to healthier outcomes for both the mother and the infant.
Pregnancies that are unplanned are more likely to be affected by delayed prenatal care, maternal depression, low birth weight, poorer childhood physical and mental health, and other complications. Breastfeeding rates are also lower after unintended pregnancies. We should also remember that most of the unintended pregnancies end in abortion, which affects both the parents psychologically and affects the mother physically.
When you look at the facts, contraception is a smart public health policy.
Of course, for some women, birth control is essential for other health reasons, including acne, fibroids, and endometriosis and to reduce problems associated with irregular or very heavy periods.
There are several methods of contraception:
Natural Family Planning (NFP): Couples can use NFP techniques like the rhythm method, basal body temperature, or the cervical mucus method to try to pinpoint when a woman is ovulating (fertile). To prevent pregnancy, sexual intercourse is to be avoided around the time of ovulation.
Other methods include barrier method (condoms), OCPs, IUCDs.
Remember, contraception plays an important role in the well-being of the family and the society as a whole.
Finally, don’t forget to consult your gynecologist for advice on the right Contraceptive method for you.