NOTHING TO HIDE

Most Indians don’t use contraception—and those who do are fairly clueless

Knowledge is power.
Knowledge is power.
Image: REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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It’s 2020 and many Indians are still clueless about their sexual wellbeing.

While a majority of Indians still don’t use any contraceptive, the ones who do remain mostly unaware of the various options and their benefits, according to a survey conducted by MTV Staying Alive Foundation, an organisation working for youth sexual wellbeing.

The survey, which was conducted in tranches between December 2019 (wave 1) and July 2020 (wave 2), included responses from more than 7,000 internet users aged between 14 and 30 years across different states in India.

Condoms emerged as the most popular contraceptive among the survey respondents.

Most survey respondents were clueless about how different contraceptives work. For instance, when asked about an intrauterine device or IUD, over 30% of the respondents were under the impression that it is a permanent solution. As per experts, an IUD stays effective only for up to 12 years.

Around 83% of the Indians included in the survey were aware that a condom can be used only once, but most of them had never heard about injectable contraceptives.

Injectable contraceptives are said to decrease the risk of endometrial cancer, and reduce menstrual cramps and pain.