International Conference on Family Planning 2009

Family Planning: Research and Best Practices

The Joy of Contraception

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Tsui-1Opening the Monday sessions on family planning research, Amy Tsui, director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, said that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Globally 63 percent of couples use contraception today (compared to 10 percent in the 1960s): this represents a profound change in human behavior, she said. Just as products such as soft drinks and mobile phones have reached—and saturated—even the most rural markets, so can contraception.

Tsui acknowledged a much overlooked benefit of contraception—the enjoyment of conjugal relations without worry about unwanted pregnancy. We don’t talk it about very much, she said, but “we should be heralding the separation of coitus from conception.”

Every year, 120 million unwanted pregnancies are averted through contraception. As families limit the number of children they produce, the health benefits to mother, babies and the family overall increase, providing what Tsui calls a “social vaccine, not to be taken for granted or dismissed.”

Written by C. Grillo | JHSPH

November 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Posted in Nov. 16 Talks

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