Wednesday April 24, 2019
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Bloated idea of contraception, time to change

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By Sreyashi Mazumdar

Picture credit: somersetcsh.co.uk
Picture credit: somersetcsh.co.uk

Contraception is an extremely amorphous and misinterpreted medical phenomenon in a close knitted society like India’s. It turns out to be contentious especially when the person concerned is a teenager. Adhering to the scientific definition of contraception, the terminology encompasses the termination of pregnancy through variegated methods.

You need a contraceptive pill?’, ‘Will I gain weight if I gobble contraceptive pills?’, ‘Contraceptive pills might reduce my fertility,’ are some of the most talked of expressions when a woman weighs the chances of getting pregnant. This year’s Contraception Day aims at making people aware about the widely ‘accepted’ misnomers about contraception.

Wide opened eyes, strained brows and an awe struck expression are some of the unbefitting predispositions a woman- especially a teenage girl- might run into on demanding a contraceptive pill. The man standing behind the counter, despite being aware of her preconditions, wouldn’t fail to further discomfort her by reiterating the name of the contraceptive pill incessantly till a million eyebrows in the shop get raised.

Picture credit: asianetindia.com
Picture credit: asianetindia.com

Kya chahiye (He shouts) I-Pill?Bhaiya isko I-Pill chahiye…this is what the man at the counter had to say when I asked for contraceptive pills,” retorted 20-year-old Sheereen Ahmad, a Delhi University student, while recollecting her horrid experience at a medical shop.

A condom in itself is a cock-a-hoop tale that titillates and excites teenagers. The idea of contraception often wanes amid the exhilaration related to the use of condoms. Often, due to the tickling, breathtaking condom advertisements sported on television, people tend to get wooed and misbegotten without being apprised of the main purport of the same.

More than a tool of contraception, condoms have boiled down to a form of amusement for many in India. Wahi Sunny Leone wala ad na?” or “Dude have you ever seen a condom…let us buy one,” these are some of the most common expressions exemplifying the brouhaha over a poor condom.

Picture credit: cdn.bgr.com
Picture credit: cdn.bgr.com

The abortion laws in our country, further, shed light on the plight of contraception or adversities that a woman gets subjected to when they opt for an abortion. A teenager, who might have gotten pregnant, if opts for an abortion ends up getting subjected to a string of difficulties. First, rendering abortion services to a girl who hasn’t attained her adulthood depends upon the clinic she decides to take to; it is solely the discretion of the medical practitioner who might or might not let her terminate the fetus. Moreover, girls fearing societal ostracization, take to untoward sources in their attempt at terminating pregnancy.

The looming disarray regarding contraception needs to get obliterated. Sex education and spaces for open deliberation on the same are some of the most sought after requirements of the day. Mockery and over rated ideation of condoms or contraceptive pills might lead to disillusionment and subsequent escalation of untoward instances. Instead of blowing condoms and finding ourselves dumb struck; let’s just accept the fact that pregnancy isn’t an isolated condition best suited for a married woman. Let’s delve into the nuances of contraception and broaden our outlook regarding the same.

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Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

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If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)