What is Contraception?There are a number of methods of contraception ranging from male and female condoms to hormonal pills, contraceptive implants, injections and intrauterine devices. Contraceptive methods like condoms also help prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The type of contraceptive method used depends on the individual's preference. The safety of contraceptive methods should be evaluated with a doctor's advice before proceeding with a chosen method.
World Contraception DayThis global campaign was launched in 2007 with the vision that every pregnancy should be "wanted." World Contraception Day (WCD) is observed on 26th September every year to increase awareness about contraception and safe sex. The campaign has been disseminating critical information to enable young people make informed choices when it comes to sex, pregnancy, sexual health and reproductive issues.
AdvertisementThe rationale behind WCD is to prevent the physical and psychological trauma from unwanted pregnancies. According to statistics released by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), New York, four in ten pregnancies are unplanned of which half end in abortions. In developed nations, of the 28 million pregnancies each year, approximately 49% are unplanned and 36% end in abortions. In developing nations, of the 182 million pregnancies each year, approximately 36% are unplanned and 20% end in abortions.
According to the AGI president Jeannie I. Rosoff, women all over the world take measures to terminated unplanned pregnancies and we must respect these decisions and ensure safe abortion when it is a choice made by the woman.
While around 26 million women have legal abortions each year, around 20 million have illegal abortions. Conditions and laws regarding abortion differ across the globe and several countries prohibit abortions (except to save the woman's life). In several countries, religious laws prohibit abortion. Such prohibitions lead to women seeking illegal abortions, which are unsafe and often practiced by unauthorized quacks. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortions as "procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking the minimal medical standards, or both." Abortions by unauthorized people and in unsafe, unhygienic conditions lead to complications and deaths.
Unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions affect the general and reproductive health of women globally. The WCD campaign is committed to improving reproductive health of women in both developed and developing nations through awareness campaigns in collaboration with local governments and NGOs.
WCD is currently supported by a coalition of 12 international NGOs and health and medical societies working in sexual and reproductive health. The NGOs which are a part of this campaign are:
- Asian Pacific Council on Contraception (APCOC)
- Centro Latinamericano Salud y Mujer (CELSAM)
- European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC)
- Deutsche Stiftung für Weltbevölkerung (DSW)
- International Federation of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (FIGIJ)
- International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
- Marie Stopes International (MSI)
- Population Services International (PSI)
- The Population Council
- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
"It's Your Life, It's Your Future, Know Your Options"This year's theme is meant to convey to young people across the globe that pregnancy is an individual choice and there are options available to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Young people are encouraged to exercise their right and use contraception for safe sex and better reproductive health. Unwanted pregnancies and STIs impact both physical and psychological health.
In several countries where cultures forbid discussions of sex and related issues, such campaigns pitch in to keep young people informed and educated about the need for safe sex and safe pregnancies. Campaign partners across the globe work with communities to discuss the issue of contraceptives and also provide demos and samples.
This year's WCD theme has its own website http://www.your-life.com/ which discusses several issues and answers questions around contraception. WCD 2015 also has a digital campaign with the hash tag #AFriendOfMine.