UNICEF-led Initiatives for Use of Contraceptives for Improved Maternal Health in Third World Countries to Push Market to New Heights

According to the World Health Organization, globally, in 2013, 289,000 deaths of women were reported during pregnancy and childbirth, a 45% decline from the 1990 mortality level. Most deaths occurred due to unavailability of skilled regular and emergency care. Since 1990, maternal mortality has more than halved in countries in Northern Africa and Asia.

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Despite improved access to maternal healthcare, in sub-Saharan Africa, the risk of maternal death remains very high, at 1 in 38. 

Worldwide, more than 10% women either do not have access to or do not use effective contraception methods. The global number of maternal deaths can be cut by as much as one-third if the family planning needs are satisfied by universal access to contraception. 

Contraceptives – Best Way to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases

“Safe sex”, today, means protection from unintended pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases (STD). These complications, which arise out of sexual activity, have serious biological and clinical implications, thus the selection of contraception is of paramount importance.

Whilst STDs pose a health risk to everyone, women are positioned to lose more than men due to irresponsible sexual behavior. So much so that STDs can cause serious damage and may even lead to permanent infertility or death. 

Sexual activity among teenagers with multiple sex partners is strongly linked with cervical cancer in the long run – a disease that men don’t need to bother about. Women who are carriers of STDs have more chances of passing the disease to their baby, causing infant sickness or even death.

How do Contraceptives Prevent Unintended Pregnancy?

For Men
Condoms – they are usually made from latex rubber and act as a barrier to prevent contact between the vagina and semen, genital lesions, and infectious genital discharges. 

Male Sterilization – this is a quick procedure that blocks or cuts the tubes that carry the sperm from the testicle to the penis.

For Women
Diaphragm – this is a rubber disk with a stretchable rim and is used to cover the cervix.

Oral Contraceptives – these give protection against pregnancy by a combination of progestin and estrogen.

Depo-Provera – this is a hormone-based contraceptive that is meant to be injected.

Implants – these are synthesized from small rubber rods and are surgically implanted under the skin to release contraceptive steroids.

IUD – this is a T-shaped device, which is a placed inside the uterus by a healthcare professional.

Female Sterilization – permanent contraception done surgically.

Emergency Contraception – this is a chemical contraceptive that needs to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

Morning After IUD – needs to be taken within 5 days of unprotected sex.

Industry Activities Raise Awareness about Contraceptives
Bayer Healthcare, a major market player for contraceptives, along with several NGOs, observes September 26th as World Contraception Day every year. This helps raise awareness about the advantage of contraceptives. In North America, implementation of the Affordable Care Act for favorable reimbursement policies for contraceptives has boosted the contraceptives market.


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