Medical research has discovered several advantages of the contraceptive pills for women. It helps in preventing ovarian and endometrial cancer; it also prevents a painful condition in women who are infertile, known as endometriosis, benign breast disease. A disease which creates complications in the pelvic region by inflammation, major cause of infertility, is also avoided by the use of pills. Cramps, one of the major side effects of menstruation, are also reduce and the periods are lighter and more regular. Anxiety, depression and even migraine attacks, fluid retention could be reduced by the constant usage of the pill for at least 8 to 10 weeks.
Conditions which are a part of the oncoming of menopause like insomnia, hot flushes and bone thinning are also positively reduced by the pill. The hemoglobin percentage in blood is also increased by the intake of pills by reducing menstrual bleeding. All these lead to better health, more energy and due to these more confidence.
The freedom from fear of getting pregnant results in reduction of inhibition. This is not due to the medical content of the pill or hormones but due to spontaneity and enhanced physical pleasure, all due to mental state. The working women finds the usage of the pill a boon. Menstruation can be controlled over long periods leading to increase immobility and a different kind of freedom for the executive women, frequent travellers and even the women on the street. The re-invention of the pill with low dosage, oestrogen and progestin levels carefully calculated to prevent pregnancy, unpleasant side effects and other non-contraceptive benefits.
The effective spacing method of the pill has not been put to use for masses in the manner it should have, due to sheer ignorance of the masses. The major media of population control in our country has been female sterilization the percentage of which is just 25 per cent of women in the reproductive phase. The survey relating to this found out the reduce benefit of this process as most the women opting for sterilization had three or four children.
With our population soaring to above a billion we have nearly half of this as women and 50 percent of that in the reproductive stage which calculates to a mind-boggling figure of more than 250 million women. The survey found that 78 percent of these women got pregnant against their wishes due to lack of preparedness, 11 million abortions are conducted every year which further concludes to 14 percent of all maternal deaths, 43 percent of post abortion complications, chronic infections and sufferings. It was also found out that one in 57 women are dying from causes relating to pregnancy and child birth.
The problems of unwanted child birth have resulted in 28 percent increased births with the male being the careless partner in most cases. Callous and indifferent gender participation, poor environmental support, lack of easy access and indifferent servicing are the reasons for unwanted child births. It was surveyed that the urban male had a high percentage of those who were aware of different contraceptive methods like condoms and reversible vasectomy but hardly 3 percent cared to use condoms. In this case, the onus lies on the women to use methods for safe sex.
Despite a male chaunistic society and suppression of women over the centuries, they have successfully forged ahead in the spheres of academics, science, information technology, medicines and politics. She is not content in viewing herself as a vehicle for other’s aspirations and is now positively responding to her needs and aspirations through control of her body. The upwardly mobile female in urban areas are now demanding a more convincing role in formulating policies while simultaneously talking of freedom of expression and pregnancy of choice.
The pressures from society continues and the rights cannot come overnight. The male in the family is still in control but the come overnight. The male in the family is still in control but the women have learnt to assert themselves in matters relating to reproductive health. This will ultimately lead to a reduction in unwanted pregnancies, fewer abortions and a reduced mortality rate both maternal and infant.
The brighter aspect is that literacy enhances the understanding of proper family planning. Kerala has the highest contraceptive prevalence rate projected at 65 percent amongst married women, a rate of 98 percent children attending school. It also has the lowest infant mortality rate and 57 percent immunization.
In contrast we have Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, having one of the highest rates of illiteracy, with a contraceptive prevalence rate of just 20 percent and having the least percentage of children attending schools. U.P, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi contribute to nearly half the population of the country and this is where the dedicated services of our NGOs, social organizations and government institutions need to be concentrated. Let us utilize the benefits of the Contraceptive Boon.