2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
The use of contraceptive methods has increased dramatically over the past ten years. Portrait of the world situation.
Globally, 62% of married or cohabiting women of childbearing age use contraceptives, or 650 million women. In the most developed regions, 70% of married or common-law women use a method of contraception, compared to 60% of women in the less developed regions who do. 1
While modern contraceptives are known throughout the world, they have evolved differently from one country to another. Every country has a different history and approach to contraception.
Sub-Saharan Africa (South of the Sahara)
The lowest usage rate is in Africa. Only 25% of married women use a contraceptive and in sub-Saharan Africa the figure drops below 15%. However, contraceptive use by single, sexually active women of childbearing age is at least twice as high on average as for married women. More than half of this difference is due to higher use of condoms by single women2. In northern Africa, womenMarried women use more intrauterine devices (IUDs) while in the south they prefer injectable contraceptives.
African women face difficulties in obtaining contraception. Family planning services have been created, but the needs are still largely unmet. In sub-Saharan Africa, 24% of married women on average require family planning services compared to 18% in North Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to lack of access to contraceptive methods, fear of side effects makes women reluctant to use contraception.1
In 2001, 66% of women of childbearing age used contraception in Latin America. sterilization followed by oral contraceptives (OC) are the methods most used by married women. Almost one in seven married women use the pill in Latin America. In Brazil, 6 million women use the pill, putting the country fourth in the world after China, Germany and Indonesia. However, OCs have lost ground as the use of female sterilization and the IUD has increased.2
In Peru, many women still rely on natural methods. A 2002 survey revealed that the President of the Republic from 1996 to 2000, Alberto Fujimori, forced the poorest into sterilization (215,227 tubal ligations and 16,547 vasectomies)with the aim of reducing the number of births per woman and thus reducing poverty. This policy of sterilization suggests eugenic tendencies against Native Americans and against the poverty of the program launched by Fujimori.3
In India, in 2000, 48% of married women used contraception according to the International Institute for Population Sciences. Most use the IUD or sterilization. Traditional methods are also very present. The population policy is based on individual responsibility, unlike China, which imposes a strict one-child policy. The condom is poorly accepted because it is associated with the birth control policy. The solution may have just been found since men will soon be able to choose their own contraceptive. The Indian researcher S. K Guha has developed a new method of contraception based on the reversible inhibition of sperm under supervision, or more commonly called RISUG. This contraceptive injection, still under study, inhibits the functional capacities of the sperm, thus causing the sterility of the man for fifteen years. An injection of baking soda diluted in water or a massage with vibrations and a weak electric current allows the man to regain his fertility after several months.4
Subject to a strict birth control policy, Japan's birth rates in recent years are amongthe lowest. In the 1950s, abortions were performed en masse. For the Japanese, abortion is a “necessary sadness”. It is considered as the wish expressed by parents to return the child to the Gods until the appropriate time has come to bring this child into the world and is accompanied by the Mizuko Jizo, an honorary ceremony. The number of abortions tends to decrease nowadays in the profile of contraception. In 2000, 90% of couples using a contraceptive method preferred condoms, 4% sterilization. The pill is almost non-existent and has only been authorized since 1999. Thus, many couples have combined the condom with the Ogino method, very popular thanks to women's magazines.
Europe has a very low fertility rate, 1.40 in 2009 compared to 2.12 in the United States, according to INED7. In European countries, more than four out of five women (80%) of childbearing age, married or in a cohabiting relationship, used a contraceptive method in 2001, while in the United States, 75% were counted.
Despite these figures, Britain has faced a sharp rise in the number of teenage pregnancies in recent years. According to the Guardian, out of 100 births in 2006, four were to teenage girls aged 12 to 18 in England, compared to two in Ireland and one and a half in France.8
In Great Britain again, 650 women found themselves pregnant when theywere using a new implant called Implanon. The problem would be attributed to the placement of the implant rather than the implant itself.
The contraceptive methods most used by women of childbearing age in 2006 were condoms (54.3%), oral contraceptives (43.7%) and sterilization (13.4%). Young women aged 15 to 19 favor condoms and oral contraceptives for practical and accessibility reasons, while married women aged 35 to 44 prefer sterilization (men and women combined). 9
The share of women using natural methods in industrialized countries is 12%. In Canada, Seréna, a non-profit community organization, promotes and teaches the sympto-thermal method, the most reliable natural method. Based on the daily observation of female fertility signs (morning temperature, characteristics of the cervical mucus and those of the cervix), it makes it possible to identify the phases of fertility and infertility and can be used throughout a woman's reproductive life, including lactation and premenopause.
In the end, reversible and short-acting methods are more popular in developed countries, while longer-acting and highly effective clinical methods are used more in developing countries. As for natural methods, in 2001, a woman of childbearing age onaround ten resort to the traditional means of withdrawal and periodic abstinence throughout the world. Contrary to what one might expect, a much higher percentage of women living in industrialized countries (12%) use such means than those in developing countries (5%) 2. This phenomenon can be explained by the need to return to nature, to respect and know one's body and the taste for simplicity.