Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sex Roulette

"Oftentimes, people don't realize they have a gap in their knowledge. People don't know what they don't know."
"I don't think we can call that [2006 survey questioning Canadian women where 64 percent reported an unintended pregnancy, with 61 percent reporting in 2017] much of [a] change."
Dr. Jennifer Blake, chief executive, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

"A person who is using withdrawal as a contraceptive method is someone who has not planned for contraception, period. They haven't thought about the need to practice contraception. A significant proportion of Canadian women are essentially making a spontaneous decision in the absence of any planning for sexual activity."
"It's fair to say a wide swath of the sexually active adult population in Canada is not taking care of their sexual and reproductive health."
"We sometimes make the assumption that as teenagers grow into young adults and then into full adulthood, they become naturally more responsible. But we know condom use declines with age. I don't see anything that shows people get better at protecting sexual and reproductive health as they get older."
Alex MacKay, executive director, Sex Information and Education Council of Canada
Condoms are one of the favoured forms of contraception, according to a survey of more than 3,200 Canadian women. WPpost image

A recent survey undertaken by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada revealed some interesting, somewhat surprising and most certainly disappointing realities. One of the survey's major findings was that women no longer seek contraceptive information from doctors; instead they look online for their options, even though many of the women responding to the survey stated that they don't necessarily trust online information.

The fact that women, who at one time saw their doctors on a yearly basis for an annual Pap smear, and that routine has been placed on a back burner, with women seeking out their family doctor less frequently may explain in part the situation. What was also revealed was that one in four women has no idea how to proceed when they miss taking a birth control pill, or other hormonal contraception.

IN response to this situation the SOGC is preparing to release a new online source they have named S.O.S., meant to guide women through that scenario and what their response should be. The website has also been relaunched, with plans to publicize a media campaign later in the year. An online program will expose women to the best forms of contraception from among an array of options, based on age and circumstances.

What the results of the survey revealed that turned out to be the most surprising element relating to contraceptive methods was the identification of one of the most favoured contraception methods; withdrawal. Women in the survey placed withdrawal in third place, following birth control pills and condoms, out of a menu of various contraceptive options.

While Dr. Blake doesn't mind acknowledging that withdrawal can be recognized as a type of contraception, she emphasizes that this cannot be considered a sound pregnancy prevention method, in particular for younger people. Let alone the concerns surrounding the contact and spread of sexually-transmitted infections.

That, added to the fact that most women appeared unaware of many of the contraceptive options that currently exist, surprised the researchers. That many women knew nothing of intrauterine devices (IUDs) as representative of one of the most effective contraceptives available, points to a severe lack of responsibility on the part of women of child-bearing age who are sexually active. A mere 3.7 percent of women in the survey reported having used a copper IUD, while 7.1 percent only had used an intrauterine system or hormonal IUD.

The survey results appear to confirm previous research findings that birth control pills and condoms overwhelmingly represent the most popular forms of birth control. Yet the frequency with which women cite withdrawal as a contraceptive method has the researchers concerned. Withdrawal was used by close to 29 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 19 who responded to the SOGC survey.

In comparison, 45 percent of women between 20 and 29 and 42.7 percent of women between 30 and 50 also made contraceptive use of withdrawal; age demographics that the medical profession might imagine would know better. Concern was also raised over the fact that greater numbers of young women between the ages of 20 to 29 used withdrawal than did teens.

That old adage that "We get too soon old and too late smart" appears to have undergone a strangely unaccountable reversal.

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