ERODE: An injectable contraceptive for women (Antara), which needs to be taken only once in three months, has been made available in government hospitals and block-level primary health centres (PHCs) in the State, according to doctors. This type of contraceptive is more helpful to women who want to postpone pregnancy and it does not have any side effects nor does it create complications.
Under this modern contraceptive method, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) is injected once in three months; the first injection is taken on the fifth day after menstruation. The second injection is to be taken 90 days after this. The injections are to be taken after every 90 days till contraception is necessary.
This method is also useful in ensuring a gap between pregnancies. It would help women put off pregnancy for a long time. After a woman gives birth to her second child, doctors advice her to adopt a permanent method.
The government is also providing oral pills (Chaya) to prevent pregnancies through hospitals. Earlier, ‘Asha’ tablets were to be taken daily. Under the new system, two tablets are to be taken per week for the first three months and then one per week. Even lactating mothers can use it as it does not have any side effects.
The tablets, to be taken under doctors’ guidance, are distributed from all PHCs, urban health centres and GHs.
There is a risk of one percent failure, but these are very effective in postponing pregnancy. The tablets, as well as the injections, will be given only to married women after getting their details, which will be recorded, they said.
A safer method of abortion - manual vacuum aspiration - has also been introduced in GHs and block-level PHCs. Under this method, an anaesthesia is not necessary nor need the woman be admitted to hospital. Pregnancies six-eight weeks old can be aborted in PHCs and those 8-12 weeks old in GHs.
Abortions are conducted according to law and reliably. Details of those who undergo abortion would be kept secret. Under the ‘medical method of abortion’, tablets are used for abortion, but these are only for pregnancies up to seven weeks. Available in all PHCs and GHs, these too are given only on the advice of doctors.
As there are now many methods to put off pregnancy and for abortions, many women do not undergo permanent family planning. A woman can take Antara or Chaya till menopause to prevent pregnancy.
However, if she forgets to take the injection or the tablet, pregnancy is likely. So, after having two children, a family planning method like tubectomy is advised.