Contraceptive use remains the most preferred means of preventing pregnancies and practicing safe sex, asides abstinence.

Contraceptives allow the users to put off unwanted pregnancies till they are ready to have children. These help them prevent situations where they have to do abortions which could be potentially life threatening. This especially in countries where they are illegal and mostly performed by quacks.

Some Commonly Used Contraceptives

For instance, many hormonal preparations are available for use in women, from oral contraceptives like Postinor 2, injectables, IUDs to implants and others.

Condoms are used by both males and females and have an advantage of preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections when properly used.

Other contraceptive methods do not help prevent sexually transmitted infections. They must be used with other safe sex measures to ensure complete protection from sexually transmitted infections.

Worldwide, there has been an expansion of family planning programs including access to services, and an increase in the use of contraceptives among women of childbearing age. This has sparked a lot of conversation on the safety of continuous use especially as concerns fertility.

Many of these questions are rooted in fears of infertility issues when the contraceptives are stopped and if the issues would be resolved or not.

To answer these seemingly important questions, many studies have shown an inverse relationship between contraceptive use and number of births.

In many countries which record high use of contraceptives, there has been a slow decline in the number of births per woman and vice versa. However, while the number of births per woman has declined globally, fertility still remains high in some parts of the world.

The reduced birth rates have been attributed to an increased practice of safe sex, thus allowing people have children at times appropriate and convenient for them, not because of fertility issues like inability to conceive from using contraceptives.

Fears about Contraceptives

Many users still find it unclear and ask further questions to know if contraceptives cause infertility. The short answer is no.

While there could be delays in fertility or conceiving after stopping long term hormonal contraceptives, the issues naturally correct on their own usually within a space of three months. This is because hormones need to become stable and balanced after contraceptive use.

For emergency oral contraceptives, there could be a slight delay in ovulation and menstruation after use, which varies from 1-2 weeks, after which the normal cycle continues.

Conclusively, while there exists an inverse relationship between contraceptive use and number of births seen in various regions of the world, contraceptives do not cause infertility issues both in the long term and short term.

They are generally safe for use among women of childbearing age and can help keep them safe from unwanted and unintended pregnancies. Thus giving them opportunities to choose when and how they want to give birth.

Finally, proper use of contraceptives should be encouraged among users, as improper use while not having lasting effects could spread panic and fear among users, especially hormonal contraceptives.

Various methods of contraception are available and accessible. If unsure of which would be appropriate for you, speak to a health care professional for guidance and advice on which would be best for you.

Joyce Nwanochi