An online survey has found that 42% women in metropolitan cities prefer taking oral contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy, while 28% prefer to use an intra-uterine device (IUD). The survey was conducted in August.
The survey ‘Contraception: Looking to the future’ conducted by a multinational pharmaceutical company involved 800 respondents in eight Asian countries including India. In India, 100 respondents (50 men and 50 women) participated in the online survey.
The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India and FPAI supported the survey. While 29% of men and women in the age group 20 and 35 years have had unprotected sex at least once, 36% females had their first sexual intercourse between the ages of 24 and 29 years.
The most preferred contraceptive method for long-term family planning was the male condom with 51% respondents using it as a form of contraception.
“It’s a good trend that more people are using temporary methods of contraception such as condoms and IUDs. This is an indication that people are using spacing method (gap between two children) for the purpose of family planning,” said Vishwanath Koliwad, secretary general, Family Planning Association of India.
Of the total female respondents, 28% used an emergency contraceptive pill in the last one year.
“Excess consumption of emergency contraceptive pills can lead to disturbed periods with an efficacy rate of just 85%. Regular oral contraceptive pills or IUDs are more effective and safer methods of contraception,” said Dr Duru Shah, gynaecologist, Breach Candy Hospital.
According to the survey, only 52% of respondents in India think that both partners are responsible for contraception and 20% males felt that neither parties are responsible for contraception.
“We see a lot of educated urban women who think that contraception is the responsibility of men,” said Dr Shah.
The survey revealed that one in three respondents did not see the need for contraceptives when it came to family planning or would rely on the withdrawal method.
“People still mistakenly consider the withdrawal method to be a reliable contraceptive option. Though many insist that they do not need contraception, we are still seeing so many people rely on emergency contraception and drastic measures such as abortion.” Dr PK Shah, president, FOGSI.