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Women And Girls in Poor Countries are Using Contraceptives More: Report

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni insists Africa needs more people, and has lambasted what he calls "the shrill cries of NGOs about population control."

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family planning, women, men
Health worker Sylvia Marettah Katende displays reproductive health products and information at a family planning exhibition in Kampala, Uganda. VOA

More women and girls in poor countries are using modern contraception, signifying progress in efforts to involve women in family planning, according to a report released Monday.

The number of women and girls using contraceptives in 69 of the world’s poorest countries surpassed 317 million in 2018, representing 46 million more users than in 2012, said the report by Family Planning 2020, a U.N.-backed global advocacy group working to promote rights-based family planning.

Access to modern contraception helped prevent over 119 million unintended pregnancies and averted 20 million unsafe abortions between July 2017 and July 2018, although populations continue to soar across Africa and other low-income countries, the report said.

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Contraceptives, Wikimedia commons

“The best way to overcome this challenge of rapid population growth is by giving women and girls [the] opportunity to decide how many children they want to have,” Beth Schlachter, executive director of Family Planning 2020, told The Associated Press.

The mix of contraceptive methods has improved significantly in 20 of the surveyed countries, “meaning that more women are able to find the short-term, long-acting, emergency, or permanent method that suits their needs and preferences,” the report said.

But even as millions of poor women use contraceptives, millions more who want to delay or prevent pregnancy are still unable to access it, often due to lack of information, the report said, citing perceived health side-effects and social disapproval as deterrents.

Reproductive Rights, abortion, women
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

Under Family Planning 2020, which grew out of a summit on family planning held in London in 2012, donors have pledged millions of dollars to bring contraception to 120 million more women and girls in developing countries by the year 2020.

Many of the 69 countries surveyed for the report are in sub-Saharan Africa, which is witnessing a population boom even as other parts of the world see dropping birth rates. Over half of the global population growth between now and 2050 will take place in Africa, according to U.N. figures.

According to the new report, contraceptive use is growing fastest in Africa, even though the region’s fertility rates remain high.

The most recent U.N. global population report estimates Africa’s fertility rate to be 5.1 births per woman.

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DMAU is a major step forward in the development of a once-daily ‘male pill

Because the region’s growing population is not backed by substantial rises in family incomes and the development of public infrastructure, there are concerns that a population boom may deepen poverty levels for many Africans.

Over the years, family planning has often been difficult to sell in heavily paternalistic sub-Saharan Africa, with the matter becoming controversial as some African leaders challenge the view that a growing population is bad for the world’s poorest continent.

Also Read: A New Step Towards Contraception for Men

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni insists Africa needs more people, and has lambasted what he calls “the shrill cries of NGOs about population control.”

In February, President John Magufuli of Tanzania encouraged polygamy, citing the 10 million more women than men in his country in advising men to marry “two or more wives” to reduce the number of single women. (VOA)

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Dairy Products Don’t Protect Women Against Fracture Risk: Researchers

Dairy products do not benefit lumbar spine or femoral neck bone density, according to researchers

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Dairy products
Dairy products may not prevent age-related bone loss in women, reveals a study. Pixabay

Researchers have found that despite containing essential nutrients, dairy products do not benefit lumbar spine or femoral neck bone density, nor do they protect against fracture risk in women.

The study, based on data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) shows that during the menopause transition, when bone loss is accelerated, they offer little benefit in preventing bone mineral density loss or fractures.

According to the study, published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), as women enter the menopause transition, bone loss accelerates and may lead to osteoporosis.

The SWAN data revealed that this bone loss is not slowed down by the consumption of dairy products nor is fracture risk mitigated.

For the findings, the current study specifically looked at the effect of dairy intake on femoral and spine bone mineral density.

It is one of the few studies dedicated to examining how dairy consumption affects a woman’s risk of bone loss and fractures across the menopause transition.

Because two of the greatest risk factors for osteoporosis — age and sex — are beyond a woman’s control, there is an increased focus on possible modifiable risk factors to slow this irreversible, age-related, progressive, degenerative skeletal disease that makes a woman more susceptible to bone fractures.

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The study showed that women are at greater risk for osteoporosis than men. Pixabay

The findings showed that women are at greater risk for osteoporosis than men, and the risk increases significantly as women age.

Also Read: Recovery Rate Rises and Case Fatality Goes Down in India

This study adds to the existing data suggesting a lack of benefit from the dairy intake on bone mineral density and fracture risk.

“There are many other health benefits of a Mediterranean-type diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as lean protein such as fish and low-fat dairy,” said study researcher Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.

In addition, regular weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or jogging, can help maintain bone strength, and activities that improve strength and balance, such as yoga and tai chi, may help prevent falls,” Faubion added. (IANS)

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Women Dedicating 1/6th of the Day To Social Media, Says Survey

A survey reveals, women spend nearly one-sixth or 4 hours of their day online, which is not work-related

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Women online
This survey is an attempt to understand where the urban Indian women are consuming content and information and the activities that interest her. Pixabay

Women spend nearly one-sixth or 4 hours of their day online, which is not work-related, reveals a survey. Nearly 54 percent of women picked Facebook, followed by 34 percent who said that their platform of choice was Instagram. While these emerge as the most preferred platforms, women are spending maximum time on WhatsApp, said the survey conducted by 80 dB Communications.

A majority of respondents, 67 percent, surveyed are working women, and this could account for their high usage of WhatsApp.

It also found that 60 percent of the respondents are comfortable making friends online with other women while 40 percent did cite their apprehension owing to fake online profiles. More than 40 percent of women said that they discover women having similar interests on social media sites, online forums, and special interest groups.

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Women are spending 4 hours of their day online, which is not work-related. Pixabay

“This situation with the global pandemic is unique, unknown, and still unfolding, both in terms of scale and scope. In the last few months, we have used the power of social engagement, research and surveys to assess consumer sentiment to help inform our communication campaigns and create purpose-driven and contextual storytelling for the brands we work with,” said Abhilasha Padhy, Co-Founder, and Joint MD, 80 dB Communications.

Also Read: Facebook to Now Verify People Whose Posts Go Viral Rapidly

“This survey is an attempt to understand where the urban Indian women are consuming content and information and the activities that interest her,” she added. (IANS)

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Women Anxious Before IVF May Face Serious Mental Disorders if the Treatment Fails: Report

Dr. Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Delhi sheds light on how depression and anxiety can affect IVF

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ivf
IVF or any fertility treatment can cause anxiety in a childless couple. Pixabay

Getting bouts of anxiety while going through In-vitro fertilization (IVF) or any other fertility treatment is common for any childless couple. Dr. Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Delhi sheds light on how depression and anxiety can affect IVF.

But it’s pivotal that the stress should be managed initially, if it is ignored it can take an emotional toll on women’s mental health. Firstly, opting to for IVF is a life-altering decision by a couple. Though it brings with it a renewed sense of hope and purpose, the experience can be an intense for everyone involved.

According to a latest report published in the ‘Fertility and Sterility Journal’, women who are stressed and anxious before IVF can face serious mental disorders if the treatment fails. The journal further added women should not feel pressured to be a “good IVF patient” who’s free of stress. And, they should not blame themselves if they feel stressed out and their IVF attempt fails. The doctors should facilitate psychological intervention, if need be to help women feel better, and not focus entirely on just increasing their chances of pregnancy.

embryo IVF
Women should not feel pressured to be a “good IVF patient” who’s free of stress. Pixabay

Relation between depression and infertility

It is still unclear whether depression itself can cause infertility but there are some studies available which found a correlation between depression and increased rates of infertility. Some suggests that an overlap in some of the hormonal issues are involved in both conditions. Moreover, depression disrupts your daily routine and lifestyle that adversely impact the fertility. For example, depression often causes an over reaction or lack of appetite,resulting in being overweight or underweight. All these increase the chances of infertility. Besides, sometimes depressed people get addicted to smoke or liquor to get rid of their negative thoughts, resulting in infertility issues.

Can pregnancy Cure Depression?

It has been witnessed that people, who have experiences infertility failures in the past, are more prone to depression during pregnancy and also have an increased chance of getting postpartum depression. A woman or a couple needs to understand that not being able to conceive or failing to become a parent through means like surrogacy or adoption,isn’t the end o the world. It is possible to find hope and happiness again if we just shift our focus on something else for some time. If depression has taken hold, it’s unlikely to resolve on its own. Depression due to a miscarriage or failed IVF treatment is tough to overcome. Researchers have found that it can stay up to three years irrespective of if you’re pregnant or not. Therefore, counseling is pivotal throughout the grieving process so that one can overcome this dark phase and start afresh with new hopes and outlook.

pregnant IVF
Researchers have found that depression can stay up to three years irrespective of if you’re pregnant or not. Pixabay

Also Read: Above 51% Women Believe Indian Schools Don’t Have Menstrual Awareness Programme: Survey

Feeling better is the Key

Some couples feel antidepressants which are used for treatment have a negative effect on health as they cause hindrance when trying to conceive again. While once cannot completely rule this thought process out.

In fact, some studies have found that treating depression with counseling and anti-depressants together increased pregnancy success. That said, for milder depression, anti-depressant medications are just one of many treatment options. Depression can also be treated with psychological counselling, support groups, and mind-body therapies. (IANS)