The Hush Post: The use of condoms among sexually active unmarried women aged 15 to 49 years has gone up in 10 years from 2% to 12%. The National Family Health Survey 2015-16, conducted by the Health Ministry found that the maximum use of condoms among unmarried women was seen in the 20-24 years age group. In general, the use of contraceptive methods was the highest in Punjab (76 per cent) and lowest in Manipur, Bihar and Meghalaya (24 per cent each). Among union territories, highest in Chandigarh (74 per cent) and the lowest in Lakshadweep (30 per cent). The survey also found that 65 per cent of Sikh women and Buddhist/Neo-Buddhist women used modern contraception, compared with 38 per cent of Muslim women.
The survey also found that three out of eight men believed contraception was “women’s business”, and that the man should not have to worry about it. Knowledge of contraceptive methods is almost universal in the country. However, this has not translated into widespread safe sex. The overall contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) was just 54 per cent among married women aged 15 to 49, with only 10 per cent using a modern contraceptive method.
A large number of women still use ‘traditional’ contraceptive methods, which includes following the menstrual rhythm or withdrawal . Among unmarried, sexually active women, the prevalence of modern contraceptive methods was much higher. Female sterilisation was found to be the most popular method of contraception. Less than one per cent of women had ever used emergency contraceptive pills, the survey found.
Modern contraceptive use increased with wealth, from 36% of women in the lowest wealth quintile to 53% in the highest quintile, as per the survey. Almost seven in 10 of modern contraceptive users obtained their method from the public health sector, the survey found. The public health sector was the major source of female and male sterilisation and IUDs, whereas the private health sector was the major source of pills, injectables and condoms.