Soon, women can get injectable contraceptives at govt hospitals

The HeallthandFamilyWelfare department is all set to introduce injectable contraceptives for womenin thegovernment hospitals by February end.

So far, the state has had oral contraceptive measures and intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) for those opting family planning. The new injectable contraceptive ‘Antara’would be madeavailable free of cost at all governmenthospitalsandfamily planningcentresacrossthestate.

Dr Rajkumar N, deputy director (Maternal Health), HealthandFamilyWelfare department said that the injectable contraceptive would give a spacing of threemonths and is considered the most effective contraceptive.

“In 90% of the families, it is thewomanwho does the family planningandtakesmeasures accordingly. Once a woman is givenaninjectable, she will not have to be on medication constantly. It is injected intramuscularly,” he added.

Theinjectable drughelps in having a healthy spacing between children, which would in turn reduce both infant and maternal mortality. “It takes three years for a woman’s body to regain essential nutrients and energy for a second pregnancy. Also, there has to be a gap of six months between an abortion and pregnancy,”Dr Rajkumar explained. With women being forced to opt out of contraception in several families where myths are prevalent, they are inevitably put at a the risk of abortion, an official said. “At timeswhenwomenin rural areas are not allowed to adopt other contraceptive measures, injectable can be chosen as it can be kept confidential from the family,”he added.

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Kamini Rao emphasised the need for counselling women before prescribing the injection.“Theremaybealittle bit ofweight gain aswellwhich could goupto four kilos a year. It is best for lactating women as well,”she added.