Conception or contraception

There was no sex in the USSR, but children were born, and after the breaking-up of the Soviet Union, the birth rate started to decline. Did people give up on sex or they learned how to protect themselves?

Contraception – side effects, nausea, extra kilograms, changes in the cycle, oral contraceptives, coitus interruptus, tantric sex, sin, abstinence or simply the will of not becoming pregnant?

Whom to will a girl address when she decides to become woman and start her sexual life, but she isn’t yet ready to become a mother: to her mother, best friend, gynecologist, search on internet or will leave all the responsibility on the shoulders of her man?

Doctors may affirm that the modern oral contraceptives, combined with a healthy food regime and life style, and taken with no other pills, are the most efficient way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. But is it really so?

What methods of contraception use Moldavian women, what is the attitude towards them and where from do they get information about the most efficient methods of protection? Answers to all these questions has sought Magenta Consulting during the Magenta National Screening research, made on a sample of 769 women aged 14-65 years from 24 towns (error margin of +/-2, 6%).

According to the data obtained from the research, 22% of the respondents answered they have an active sexual life, 34% - a moderate one and 32% don’t have a partner. Most of the respondents that have an active sexual life are aged 20-34 years old, while 40% of respondents of the same age segment  don’t have a partner.

59% said that they do not use any methods of protection, while 41% use different methods of contraception.

The women aged 55-65 years are those using the least any kind of contraception. It must be mentioned that the level of respondents’ income  doesn’t influence on the choice of the contraception method. Depending on the level of education, the respondents with incomplete secondary education and college graduates use the most seldom any kind of contraception. In terms of marital status, women living in concubinage are more careful in regard to contraception,  and protect themselves in a higher degree than married women.

The most popular method of avoiding pregnancy is the condom (48% of the respondents mentioned they made use of it), on the second place is the Intrauterine Contraceptive System (IUS) (25%), followed by the oral contraceptives (17%). The less popular methods are the spermicides and the diaphragm (4% each).

The preservative remains the most popular method of protection in different age categories, but at the same time, among the respondents of 30-54 years more solicited becomes the IUS and the hormonal pills, decision motivated by the presence of a permanent partner. Married women also prefer the IUS and the preservative – 35% each. Also, the preservative is the most used protection tool among the respondents living in concubinage, who are single and/or divorced.

7% of the participants of this survey aren’t satisfied with the method of contraception they use, on the other side 36% are satisfied, while 57% - are satisfied only to a certain extent.  

The fears of respondents using any method of contraception are represented by the side effects, the inconveniences of usage and the limited contact with the sexual partner.

Among the side effect were indicated the weight increase, changes in the menstrual cycle and headaches.  

Among those respondents that used hormonal contraceptives, every fifth decided to give them up. Other 39% mentioned that they have never used oral contraception, nor do they intend to do it.

The reasons for which women gave up using oral contraceptives or never decided to use them, were the probability of weight increase, an unsuccessful usage experience, doubts in the necessity of using such a method of protection and the thought that it is harmful to the health.

As sources of information about contraception 75% of the study participants prefer to consult the gynecologist, 25% to watch broadcasts on this subject, 22% - to search the Internet and 20% to address to the family doctor.. The advice of the mother or of a friend is the least used method for getting informed.

The most preferred source of information about contraception for the respondents of 14-19 years is the family doctor, while other women of the same age category would prefer to find out details from their friends and mothers, or even form the chemist. The broadcasts on this subject are more popular among the respondents of 55-65 years, and less popular among those of 14-24 years.

The reasons for not using contraception, invoked by the study participants, include the lack of necessity in their usage, also the doubts about the harmfulness of the hormones and the inconveniences in usage. It is worth mentioning  that among respondents, were women who haven’t heard about contraception, others who feel ashamed to buy them, and also some consider that it is against their religion using this kind of protection methods. Beside this, 23% of the respondents of 30-34 years are programming when to have a baby.

Those persons, who have experience of living in concubinage, can use the calendar method of contraception. But is it true that most of men and women, who haven’t still registered their marriage, but yet decided to share one house, one bed and one hairdryer  in the bathroom, succeed in following the biological cycle of each other and use the calendar method efficiently? Or they don’t use any method of contraception and have a more philosophical view on the matter, getting ready for the moment when the official registration of the marriage won’t be possible to avoid. Many people want their own family and children, but because of certain reasons can’t decide for this. The accelerated rhythms of the modern life make us plan everything, even the moment when a child must be conceived. But the baby brought by the stork can’t be returned…

According to the official statistical data, in 2009 in the Republic of Moldova were born 40.803 children and were registered 14.634 miscarriages, among which 1.518 among teenagers (15 cases – under 15 years and 1505 at those of 15-19 years old). In this way, for 100 births we had 36 miscarriages, 10% of which are registered at teenagers. According to the opinion of the experts, the real number of miscarriages is 2-3 times larger. After the apparition on the Moldavian market of contraceptives in 2000-2001, the number of the miscarriages records declines annually.

Chrysanthemes, Nr. 4 2010