New Delhi, Sept 17 (ANI): A new survey has revealed that more than 40,000 Chinese have misconceptions over the use of contraception and sexual health.
The online survey held by the China Population Communication Center, which is affiliated to the National Population and Family Planning Commission, covered contraceptive drugs, condoms and feminine hygiene, the China Daily reported.
"Widespread misuse, if not abuse, of the morning-after pill is of great concern," Beijing-based sexologist Ma Xiaonian, who oversaw the survey questions, said.
The survey showed nearly half of those polled said they preferred the morning-after pill to other forms of contraception, because of its effectiveness and convenience.
And he said that the percentage would be even higher if the survey had been restricted to youths.
"Some women use it frequently, which, apart from common side effects, including vomiting and headache, will affect recipients' reproductive health," Ma, who urged the public to acquire accurate information from health professionals, said.
The trend is largely fuelled by advertising hype and its availability, said Wu Shangchun, a researcher at the National Population and Family Planning Commission.
The emergency contraceptive is now largely available without a prescription at roadside drugstores in China, almost 50 years after it heralded women's sexual liberation in Western countries.
Only 10 percent of the survey respondents said they would seek reliable information, while the rest said they informally sought knowledge about sex and reproduction, usually from the Internet.
"Many of the tips available on the Internet are actually advertisements, which can be misleading," Ma pointed out.
Regarding feminine hygiene, 95 percent of female respondents said they had used a feminine wash and nearly 48 percent said they thought the wash would help minimize the risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
"In truth, it doesn't help at all," he stated, adding that frequent use undermines the vagina's natural acidic environment and may be detrimental to health. (ANI)