Benefits of contraception other than pregnancy prevention

Whereas the benefits are innumerable, many people see contraception as only beneficial in preventing unintended pregnancies. Other than the primary purpose of of pregnancy prevention, contraception reduces pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality, reduces risks of developing certain reproductive cancers such as cervical, ovarian and endometrial cancers, and can be used to treat many menstrual-related symptoms and disorders like heavy bleeding and dysmenorrhoea.

Below are the benefits of contraception…….

family planning

Contraception can be used to plan when women and couples have children and how many children they have. This includes choosing

  • when they want to begin having children
  • how far apart they want their children
  • when they want to stop having children.

Contraceptive use let women and couples have the number of children they want, when they want them.

Delaying or spacing babies allows women and men to follow through with their education and career goals without being interrupted by having children. This empowers women and increases their ability to earn more. With fewer children, families are able to invest more in each child.

contraception saves lives

Yearly in Nigeria, approximately 30,000 to 50,000 women die from complications of abortion, a preventable cause of death. This is not limited to the single unmarried woman but also includes the married woman who is not ready for the pregnancy.

It prevents sexually transmitted infections

Barrier methods such as condoms have the added benefit of protection from sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital warts and HIV. Top of the list is HIV which still has no cure. Nigeria has the second highest HIV epidemic in the world.

Contraceptive use saves lives of children

Use of contraceptives enables families to better space the births of their children. Statistics show that approximately one million of the 11 million deaths per year of under five children could be averted by increasing birth intervals to at least 24 months.

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It is good for the economy

Birth or population control prevents population explosion and enhances equitable distribution of scarce resources. The long term approach to fighting poverty is through family planning.

It helps prevents some forms of cancers

The combined oral contraceptives protects against some forms of cancer like ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, and benign breast masses.

Other medical benefits of contraceptives

Contraceptives protects against symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease. It may protect against ovarian cysts and iron deficiency anemia.

It reduces:

  • menstrual cramps
  • menstrual bleeding problems
  • ovulation pain
  • excess hair on face or body (hirsutism)
  • symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)- irregular bleeding, acne, excess hair on the face or body).
  • symptoms of endometriosis(pelvic pain, irregular bleeding)

Birth control allows for sustainable population growth

Rapid population growth places high demand on available natural resources (water, food, land etc). Population increases are most dramatic in Africa, where contraceptive prevalence rates for modern methods remain low; 29 percent in Africa and a paltry 12.9 percent in Western Africa.

This article was written by Dr Christiana Irigo

Sources:

Global Health Learning

Family Planning. Org

Guttmacher Institute

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