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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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Family Size Can Be Determined By Reproductive Rights: Study

To make freedom of choice a reality, the report urges countries to offer universal access to quality reproductive health care

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Reproductive Rights, abortion
A community health worker holds up contraceptives during a lecture on family planning at a reproductive health clinic run by an NGO in Tondo city, metro Manila. VOA

Family size is closely linked to reproductive rights, according to the State of World Population 2018 report.

The U.N. report says people in developed countries tend to have lower fertility rates because of greater access to family planning services, modern contraceptives and age-appropriate sex education.

The director of the U.N. Population Fund office in Geneva, Monica Ferro, says in places where reproductive rights are constrained, either due to lack of resources or government mandates, people have a limited ability to choose the size of their families.

reproductive rights
Google suspends Ireland’s Abortion Referendum Ads, VOA

“Many sub-Saharan African countries, for example, have fertility rates of four or more births per woman,” Ferro said. “At the other end of the spectrum, you have some eastern Asian and European countries with fewer than two births per women. In both cases, individuals face obstacles to the full realization of their reproductive rights.”

The world population is expected to increase by 2.5 billion by 2050, to nearly 10 billion people, with sub-Saharan Africa expected to contribute more than half of that growth.

Women in Africa must overcome many legal and social barriers to achieve control of their fertility, Ferro said.

reproductive rights
Women in Africa must overcome many legal and social barriers to achieve control of their fertility.

“Women may not have the access to medical services,” she told VOA. “They may not have the access to child care. They may not have access to all the institutional and social support that comes with being ready or being able to plan your fertility.”

Also Read: Brisbane, Australia Protests Against Plans To Decriminalise Abortion

To make freedom of choice a reality, the report urges countries to offer universal access to quality reproductive health care, including modern contraceptives and better education.

It also advocates for a change in men’s attitudes toward a woman’s right to choose the number, timing and spacing of children. (VOA)