Alarming rise in unintended pregnancies mar women's health:FOGSI

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Bangalore, Dec 19(UNI) The primary reason for unsafe abortions in India was unplanned pregnancies and 78 per cent of pregnancies are unintended, while at least 25 per cent are unwanted.

Stating this Hema Divakar, Chairperson of Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Society of India (FOGSI), today emphasised the need of generating awareness about emergency contraception like pill or copper-T used to avoid unintended pregnancy.

Speaking to mediapersons here, she said FOGSI had launched a campaign to dispel myths and misconceptions associated with emergency contraception and highlight its beneficial aspects.

She said an estimated six to seven million abortions took place in India every year. A majority of these were performed by providers outside registered and government recognised institutions, often by untrained persons working in unhygienic conditions. Use of such unsafe alternative posed tremendous risks to women.

Dr Hema said 13 per cent of maternal deaths in India was the result of unsafe abortions. Studies also suggest that this number may be as much as 80,000 per year. "Emergency contraception is, in a crisis, one of the most reliable methods of preventing unintended pregnancy," she added.

Emergency contraception was meant to prevent pregnancy after an unprotected act of sexual intercourse. Use of emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy by over 80 per cent if taken as quickly as possible, and not later than 72 hours. This method was however not a substitute for regular contraception and should be used in cases of emergency only," she added.

FPAI Medical Officer Rekha Gogi said it was high time that the people broaden their frame of mind and realise that the risk of pregnancy and induced abortion was greater than the risk of using emergency contraception.

"We should clearly emphasise the emergency contraception was meant for only an emergency situation and cannot replace regular family planning methods," she added.

UNI

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