Access limited for women, says study

While the theme of World Population Day this year, which falls on July 11, marked to address the importance of population growth says, ‘Family planning is a human right’, access to family planning has

HYDERABAD: While the theme of World Population Day this year, which falls on July 11, marked to address the importance of population growth says, ‘Family planning is a human right’, access to family planning has been limited for women, say studies.

Moreover, the focus of this is on married couples. India’s family planning programme, which is based on demographic principles by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare focuses on married couples with stress on female sterlisation. Hence, women relying on modern and safer contraceptives is low. As per the Advocating Reproductive Choices (ARC), a coalition of 170 civil society organisations, only 1.5 per cent women are in the know of intra-uterine devices, where as 4.1 per cent rely on pills. The other for family planning comes from the 5.6 per cent of men use contraception.

The ARC also pointed out that there is a need for an enabling environment, where every individual irrespective of age or marital status should be able to seek quality family planning services. Also, a recent study by the city-based Durgabhai Deshmukh Hospital revealed that while 21% of married women use contraceptives and have access to them, only 16.4 per cent unmarried women use the same.

“We see at least 20 cases in a month, where unmarried women, come to seek medical help for irregular menstrual cycles, hormonal imbalances. This is because they pop emergency contraceptive pills available in the market every time they have an intercourse,” said Dr Shipi Reddy, a gynecologist.

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