Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Misconceptions about modern contraceptives are causing unexpected pregnancies and abortions, a conference organised by the HCM City Women Magazine and Bayer Việt Nam to mark World Contraception Day in HCM City.
Modern contraception methods are highly effective in protecting unplanned pregnancies, according to Professor Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Phượng, vice president of the Việt Nam Gynecology and Obstetrics Association and president of the HCM City Society for Reproductive Medicine. For instance, male condoms are able to offer 86-93 per cent protection. The protection rate for copper rings is 98-99 per cent, the same as oral contraceptives taken correctly.
Professor Phượng said many women used traditional contraceptive methods, such as withdrawal, fertility awareness… instead of modern ones since they mistakenly feared that oral contraceptives cause infertility, and are misinformed about the association between contraceptive use with cancer and stroke.
“The use of traditional methods is less effective than modern ones and pose the potential risk of abortion due to unplanned pregnancies,” she said.
She quoted statistics from Guttmacher Istitute as saying, “If all unmet needs for modern contraception were satisfied, the number of unplanned pregnancies would be reduced by 67 per cent from 44 million to 15 million per year and unsafe abortions by 73 per cent from 9.7 million to 2.6 million.”
Phượng stressed, “Therefore, it is important that every woman seeks reliable information about available contraceptive methods, and get advice and guidance from their healthcare professionals to decide which method is best for her.”
Phượng said venous thromboemlism (VTE) is a well-known serious but rare risk associated with all combined oral contraceptives (COCs). However, the risk for VTE when taking a COC is lower than during pregnancy and following childbirth. Phượng said many innovations, such as the reduction of dose of oestrogen in COCs nowadays, had led to the reduction of VTE risks.
“Using oral contraceptives correctly is much better than having unplanned pregnancies, which could cause even death due to unsafe abortion ,” she said.
Moreover, “oral contraceptives now limit bleeding during monthly periods meaning women can avoid blood loss,” she said. However, to safeguard their health, women should be screened risk factors prior to making decision for hormonal contraceptive using, such as age over 35 and smoking, major surgery with prolonged immobilization, history of thrombosis, etc.
According to the World Health Organisation, Việt Nam is among the five countries with the highest abortion rates in the world and has the highest rate in Asia.
Statistics from Từ Dũ Hospital and Hùng Vương Hospital, the two largest obstetrics and gynecology hospitals in the south of Việt Nam, show that the number of women coming for abortions has not decreased in recent years.
Từ Dũ Hospital received a total of 28,692 cases last year, and in the first half of this year, 14,400.
The number this year for Hùng Vương Hospital is 1,200.
On this occasion, Bayer Vietnam and the HCM City Women Magazine organised a talk by doctors for 300 women employees of the HCM City Limited Environment Company late last week to provide them with knowledge about contraception and how to choose appropriate contraceptive methods.
Volunteering for the event were doctors from the District 2 Hospital in HCM City, who offered free obstetrics and gynecology examinations and Pap smear to diagnose cervical cancer.
In addition to articles being published in the magazine, a writing contest for women was launched on “Tôi chọn sống chủ động” (I choose to live actively) encouraging women to be proactive in their lives by making informed choices on contraception in order to plan their lives, pursue their dreams, live happily and be successful.
The entries will be accepted until December 12, 2016. VNS