Sterilization Is Most Popular Form Of Family Planning In the World, NPR Reports


Sterilization is the most popular form of family planning in the world, National Public Radio announced last month.

For women, sterilization is usually done as tubal ligation, which is a minimally invasive surgery where the Fallopian tubes are cut and tied off. For men, a vasectomy is performed. While only 28 million worldwide use the procedure, some 223 million women reported using the process in 2009, and the number is on the rise.

Family planning advocates have noted that the procedure is low-risk and inexpensive, as well as empowering to women. The “permanent contraception” allows couples to have two or three children without expanding their family size or using a form of contraception for the following 25 years or so. Advocates argue that buying supplies or worrying about stock-outs aren’t concerns with the procedure.

Advocates of the permanent contraception procedure have argued that the failure rate is only half a percent, whereas injectable birth control stands at around 5 to 6, the pill at 9 percent and condoms at about 18 percent. The risk of complication is also low with permanent contraception, which under good clinical practice stands at about 1 percent. However, it’s true that clinics in the U.S. generally have a 50 to 80 percent compliance rate, which usually occurs in clinics that are understaff and have a lot of patients demanding care – this generally occurs when a health system isn’t supportive of the procedure, according to experts.

"They can have the life they want without worrying about unwanted pregnancies," John Townsend, reproductive health director at Washington DC's Population Council, argued.

Townsend added that the process shouldn’t be demonized.

NPR’s report followed news of 13 women who had died following permanent contraception processes in India at the result of rusty or unsanitary instruments.

Source: NPR


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