Population Explosion and Birth Control Measures
Table of Content
- Reproductive Health
- Population Explosion and Birth Control/Fertility Control
- Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP)
A good Reproductive Health is defined as the state of well-being in all matters related to reproductive system. The individuals with good reproductive health can have safe sex life as well as can reproduce effectively.
A sudden increase in the size of the population is known as population explosion. The world population had reached from 2 million in 1900 to about 6 million in 2000. Such population explosion can be because of many reasons such as:
- Decline in death rate
- Decline in maternal mortality rate
- Decline in infant mortality rate
- More individuals with reproductive age
- Increased rate of immigration
- Increase in life expectancy
Fig.1. Projected population of India from 2001-2026.
- The earth cannot easily accommodate overpopulation.
- It also leads to unemployment. Every individual will not be able to get enough work for livelihood.
- Population explosion is associated with low living standards and poverty.
- Poor health due to improper food and nutrition for such large population.
The most common method for controlling population is the use of contraceptives. Contraceptives should be user-friendly, easily available, and with least side effects. The first oral contraceptive that was invented is Enovid. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as contraception. Some of the measures for control are mentioned below-
- The most common method to control population explosion is encourage small families about different control measures such as contraceptives.
- Periodic abstinence is the natural measure for control. In this mode, the couple avoid coitus from day 10 to 17 of the menstrual cycle. These are the days when ovulation is expected. This period is known as fertile period as the chances of mating between the egg and the sperm is maximum at this time.
- Withdrawal or coitus interruptus is another method for control where male partner draws his external genitalia or penis just before ejaculation. This is done to avoid insemination.
- Lactational amenorrhea is absence of menstruation during lactation just after parturition. The chances of conception are minimum during lactation. But this method is effective for about only 6 months after parturition.
- Other barrier method is use of condom. Condoms are barriers made up of rubber or latex sheath that are used to cover penis in male and vagina in female. This method is used to prevent semen from entering the female vagina. This helps in preventing the conception. The use of condoms had increased from the last few years as this also helps in preventing sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Fig.2. Male and Female Condoms
- Diaphragms, cervical caps and vaults are also other methods for control. They are inserted into the female reproductive tract to cover the cervix during conception. They prevent conception by blocking the entry of sperms into the female body. These devices are reusable.
- Intra-uterine devices are small devices that are inserted into the body by the doctors. For example, CuT, Cu7, lippes loop, etc. These devices promote phagocytosis of sperms to prevent fertilization. They are used to delay the pregnancy. CuT, Cu7 are devices containing copper. The release of copper ions inhibits the motility of sperms. These are considered as ideal contraceptives for females.
- Pills are used as oral contraceptives. Dr. Gregory Goodwin Pincus was the first to discover birth control pills. These pills contain small doses of estrogen or progesterone or a combination of both. These oral contraceptives should be taken for a period of 21 days. After a gap of 7 days, that is, at the time of menstruation, these pills should be avoided. After this gap, these pills should be taken again in the same pattern until and unless female desires conception or fertilization. Progesterone or combination with estrogen are given to females via injections. They work similar to orally taken pills. For example, Saheli is an oral contraceptive without any steroids. Administration of these hormones containing pills within 72 hours of the coitus are very effective in controlling the fertilization.
- Surgical methods are also being used to control birth. These methods are also known as sterilization methods. These methods are used to terminate any further pregnancy. These methods block gamete transfer and thus prevent conception. Vasectomy is one of the method used in males.
Fig.4. Tubectomy in females
In this method, a small incision is done to remove a part of the vas deferens. Similarly, in females tubectomy is done. In tubectomy, a small part of fallopian tube is removed via incision. These techniques are effective but with poor reversibility.
Fig.5. Vasectomy in males
But it is advisable that contraceptives should be used properly under proper consultancy.
Medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) is better known as induced abortion is the voluntary termination of pregnancy. Around 45 to 50 million MTPs are done in a year worldwide. MTP act was passed in 1971.
MTP is preferred in the following cases:
- If a women desires for MTP
- If a woman has some uterine problems such as uterine cyst or any other malformation.
- If a woman is obese
- In early period of gestation
- Incomplete abortion
- Uterine or pelvic infection
It is method used to diagnose any chromosomal abnormality and infection in the fetus. In this method, a small amount of amniotic fluid is taken from the pregnant women which contain fetal tissues with DNA. This DNA is examined for any abnormality. There are various chromosomal abnormalities that can be diagnosed using amniocentesis such as- down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, neural tube defects etc. Using this method, a couple can also identify the sex of the unborn child.
- It is an expensive process
- If done before the 15th week, it may lead to fetal injury
- Ethical issues such as baby girl is aborted
- Chance of infection is more
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