Rise in unintended pregnancies mar women's health: FOGSI

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Bangalore, Dec 20 (UNI) The primary reason for unsafe abortions in India is 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 Gynaecological Society of India (FOGSI), yesterday emphasised the need of creating awareness of emergency contraception like pill or copper-T used to avoid unintended pregnancy.

Talking to newspersons 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 the 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 is meant to prevent pregnancy after an unprotected sex. It can prevent pregnancy by over 80 per cent if taken as quickly as possible, and not later than 72 hours. This method is, however, not a substitute for regular contraception and should be used only in cases of emergency,'' 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 that emergency contraception is meant for only an emergency situation and cannot replace regular family planning methods,'' she added.

UNI

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