Birth control or contraception is the practice of preventing pregnancy. It’s estimated that about 65 percent of pregnancies are unplanned. The consequences of an unplanned pregnancy can be serious and life changing. Poor maternal health can lead to issues such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and infant mortality. Unplanned pregnancies may also result in pregnancy-related complications, including miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
Contraception is an essential public health service. Healthy people are the most productive members of society. Conserving our natural resources is important to ensure a healthy society for all. Contraception is an important tool in achieving both of these goals.
It is very important as it protects many diverse life processes, including healthy fertility, pregnancy, and childbirth. Contraceptives are also vital for the millions of women around the world who are unable to become pregnant and are in need of birth control. It is associated with important health benefits for women, including reduced risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and occlusive vascular disease.
There are many different methods of contraception, including condoms, birth control pills, and intrauterine devices (IUDs). Scientists have discovered that birth control methods, like condoms, also prevent the spread of STIs and diseases.
Before 1960, only a small percentage of women were able to get pregnant, and doctors weren’t sure why. However, after birth control became more readily available, later generations of women could keep having children to a much greater range of ages—and, consequently, their average age at first pregnancy fell dramatically.
It has been around for a long time, but recently it has come under fire. Wikipedia defines contraception as “A specific human method of preventing pregnancy.”
But according to the American Pregnancy Association, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines contraception as “the act or practice of preventing pregnancy.” It goes on to say, “Contraception has been used for thousands of years by different cultures around the world. It is currently the most common form of birth control used by women in the United States.”
It has undoubtedly impacted the world in a variety of ways, for better or worse. But perhaps the greatest way that contraception has impacted the human race is the decrease in population. While many may argue that contraception lowers the world’s population by causing fewer people to procreate, it also reduces the number of children born. As a result, the population of the world has decreased drastically since the invention of the first contraceptive methods.
Contraception and the human population go hand-in-hand. Although anti-birth control activists prefer to focus on women and reproductive health, birth control, and HIV prevention are just as essential in the fight against human population growth.
Africa, for example, still experiences very high birth rates—a 2014 United Nations report predicted that for each woman living in Africa, 11 children would be born. With such high numbers come a slew of problems: increased poverty, a ripple effect of uneducated children, and environmental issues. But there is one issue—one issue which, if taken seriously, could slow the population growth to acceptable levels. That issue is contraception.
According to the World Health Organization, 1.3 billion people—of which 526 million are girls—have no access to contraception. Many countries, especially those with religious or cultural beliefs, implore women not to have sex or use contraception. But having control over your fertility and deciding when to have children can benefit everyone.
The birth control pill is one of the most successful products in the history of man. It’s estimated that 1.8 billion people worldwide currently rely on some form of contraception. Though the world is still far from having zero unplanned pregnancies, it’s moving in the right direction, and with birth control’s help, the human population has stabilized.