Invest in Teenage girls
Throughout the world and especially in India, teenage girls face some serious challenges. Many had considered ready for marriage and motherhood as soon as they come of age. In urban as well as in rural India, sexual autonomy still had frowned against. Most young women do not have any knowledge about their reproductive rights. Young women had not taught about safe sex, contraceptive choices, family planning methods and post-natal care. It is no surprise then, that every year over 1 lakh women and girls lose their lives to pregnancy-related causes, most of which are preventable.
Discussing sexual health remains such a taboo in India, that most young women had left stranded to deal with the outcome of any sexual experience – accepted or forced. In desperation, the resort to unsafe and uncertain methods, putting their health and their lives at great risk.
It is crucial today, to empower and invest in our girls. We must teach them about their options, rights and resources extensively. Every young girl must know, and be free to exercise her reproductive rights.
On World Population Day 2016, UNFPA calls upon the world leaders to Invest in teenage girls. The Indian government provides free and subsidised access to many options important for women’s sexual and reproductive health. Several programs are in place to help to several issues like abortions, birth spacing, pre and post-natal care, etc.
Under the plan of the Family welfare program, the Government of India provides contraceptive options at subsidised rates. Condoms are a popular measure of birth control as well as protection from sexually transmitted diseases due to ease of access and usage. They may or may not contain spermicide. While they are mostly made of latex, non-latex options are available for those suffering from latex allergies.
Intra Uterine Devices (IUD) such as Copper T are provided for long term contraception up to 10 years. They are effective for maintaining the recommended minimum two-year gap between subsequent pregnancies.
Some women may experience side effects such as cramps and abnormal bleeding. Therefore, it is always advisable to use an IUD after consulting a gynaecologist.
Emergency contraceptive pills will recommend after unprotected sex to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. They are made available to victims of assault, rape or coerced sex. In the event of contraceptive failure, emergency contraceptives had recommended.
Tubectomy procedures made available to eligible individuals under the National Family Welfare Program. It is a permanent procedure, with a failure rate as low as 0.79%. Thorough counselling must be provided to patients and conscious, informed approval is required before the operation.
Safe Abortion Practices:
In India, every two hours a woman dies due to unsafe abortion. Access to safe abortion facilities is one of the most pressing issues, and it is imperative that young women have these options laid out in front of them.
A woman may go through the medical abortion, performed by administering Mifepristone followed by Misoprostol. Manual vacuum aspiration had performed for later stages of pregnancy. The procedure supplemented with anaesthesia and mild painkillers. These procedures had performed by trained medical personnel at government hospitals and public health centres. Abortion is legal in India for up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Everywhere in the world, it is important to give young women the resources to take their sexual and reproductive health under their own control.
Empowering teenage girls, and giving them a way to the adequate tools, is one of the most effective ways of combating the population crisis. Please make sure to consult your gynaecologist regular, to determine the best options for you.