Discontinuation of birth-spacing methods: Karnataka among top 5 states

Discontinuation of birth-spacing methods: Karnataka among top 5 states

 Karnataka is among the top five states in the discontinuation rate for birth-spacing methods, shows a nationwide survey.

According to the latest National Family Health Survey, discontinuation of birth spacing (the practice of waiting between pregnancies by using any of the contraceptive methods) in Karnataka is 60%. Other states with high rates of discontinuation are Kerala (63.5%), Tamil Nadu (62.9%), Andhra Pradesh (60.6%) and Goa (59.5%).

An official from the department of health and family welfare said the discontinuation of spacing methods was often due to lack of supply of the contraceptives such as pills, IUDs (intrauterine devices), condoms and injectables.

"There is lack of awareness among people about contraceptives. Health workers fail to explain to the people about the various kinds of contraceptives," he said.

The official said people sometimes do not agree to the use of contraceptives, while at other times, the staff are not trained to do the procedure of inserting injectable contraceptives.

Modern ways

The survey says the use of modern contraceptives is condoms - 1.3%, pills - 0.4% and IUDs - 0.8%. It shows that the total unmet need, where a woman desires to control or delay child birth but is not using a contraceptive, is 10.4% in the state.

'Wrong notion'

Dr Raj Kumar, deputy director, maternal health and family welfare, said it was a wrong notion that the discontinuation rate of spacing method was high in Karnataka.

He said female sterilisation (surgical method of tying the fallopian tube) was more preferred in the state than modern contraceptive methods, since sterilisation was a permanent method of birth control.

Doctors recommend that there should be at least a two-year gap between the first child birth and the second. A lesser gap can lead to babies born with low birth weight, pre-term birth or even infant death.

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