Unwanted Pregnancies Highest in India

Pregnancy and childbirth are usually very happy occasions in a family, but this is not always the case. It is possible that m to–be mothers do not want to give birth to their offspring. The solution lies for them in abortions and medical terminations. With contraceptive use at a dismal low, unwanted pregnancies are on the rise. Teenagers are now exposed to a more liberal culture and are quick to adopt it, without taking any kind of precautions. As most of them come from conservative homes, they do not want to go back to their parents with the problems of pregnancy, so the result is an abortion. These abortions are done at shacks by quacks and midwives who do not have knowledge and who use crude methods and implements for termination of pregnancies.

In the year 2014, the number of unwanted pregnancies has been maximum in India and this has resulted in the maximum number of maternal deaths and child deaths. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that the maternal deaths could have been reduced by sixty percent and child deaths by fifty seven percent, if the number of unwanted pregnancies had been reduced.

There were close to sixteen and a half million unwanted pregnancies in 2014 and fifteen million of them in low and middle income countries could have been avoided if the couples in these countries had adopted modern contraceptive methods, according to a study by WHO published sometime in February, 2015. The number of women with unwanted pregnancies was highest in India and the reason given by most of these women for not resorting to contraception was health based, although this claim is belied by facts.

It is in this area that the study finds a crucial role of health workers, who should educate the women and help them to find the methods of contraception that is most suitable to them. Today, there are a number of modern methods available for contraception – oral pills, male and female condoms, implants, injectable contraceptives, intra-uterine devices and sterilisation. Most young people in rural India and many in urban India are unaware of these methods, and it is up to health workers to make them understand the methods and opt for the one most suited to them. At least seventy percent of the sexually active young women did not desire to become pregnant and used contraception for the same, and of the remaining roughly half did not desire to use contraception while the other half were willing to use contraceptive methods.

The poorest and the least educated women were among the group unwilling to try out contraception. Many were afraid of the side effects of the contraception methods, a few found it costly and did not where to obtain it, and some simply did not think they were at risk of pregnancy. Some found to their dismay that traditional methods did not work. With so much ignorance at play, it is up to the public campaigns and education that can really improve things on the ground.

Atreyee Roy (have 690 posts in total)

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