Myths of weight-gain, peers put off women from getting right contraception

October 6th, 2008 - 2:10 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 6 (ANI): Myths about the use of contraceptives, such as weight-gain and peer pressure, are deterring many women from getting the best form of contraception for them, according to a Scottish survey.

The poll of 55 women, carried out by sexual health specialists in southern Scotland, discovered that women did not go for long-acting hormonal contraception because of the fear of gaining weight.

Most of the women rejected the coil and implants because they detested examinations or invasive procedures, and there were others who chose the Pill just because their peers had done so.

Both the Department of Health and the Scottish authorities are suggesting the use of long-acting contraceptives for their reliability and fewer side effects. According to the guidelines, when women got to their GP asking for contraception, they should be offered these long-acting contraceptives.

But new research shows that such contraceptives lack popularity, with only one in 10 women having used them in the last one year, which is less than one fourth of the number using either oral contraceptives or condoms.

The biggest fear preventing women from using long-acting contraceptives are unfounded fears that they would harm their long-term fertility, and, may even make them put on weight.

However, there were others who said that they would not go for the intrauterine devices such as a coil because of the need to have it inserted by a doctor.

In fact, even thinking about an implant sitting under the skin was off-putting for some of the women.

Many revealed that instead of going to the GP asking for the right contraception for them, many women had gone to ask for “the Pill” just because their friends were using it.

According to specialists, it might not be possible for convincing women to ward off the fears of medical examinations or implants, but the survey suggested that the term “long-acting” used when promoting some forms of contraception could be creating false fears.

“We are shooting ourselves in the foot by saying they are long-acting, and we need to emphasise that they don”t impair fertility, and the majority of them don”t affect weight, the BBC quoted Professor Anna Glasier, from Sexual Health NHS Lothian, as saying.

She added: “Doctors tend to focus on medical problems, whereas women are actually more worried about their weight, their skin and their chances of being able to have children in the future.”

The study is published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. (ANI)

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