Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

World Contraception Day is held on September 26 each year. It aims to increase awareness of the different means of contraception in order to limit the number of unwanted pregnancies.

In recent years, contraceptive methods have diversified a lot.

Beyond the pill, the condom and the intrauterine device (IUD), women can now use the subcutaneous implant, the patch or the contraceptive ring. These new devices now allow everyone to choose the contraception that suits them best.

Since 2013, contraception for minors over 15 has been reimbursed at 100%.

Despite this, the rate of unwanted pregnancies remains high. Thus, about a third of pregnancies occur in this context and 6 times out of 10 lead to a voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion).

The theoretical effectiveness of certain methods of contraception (pill, condom, etc.) sometimes comes up against difficult daily management, which can reduce their effectiveness.

Several factors can be a source of failure:

  • Incorrect use (forgetfulness, delay, pill error, etc.)
  • Practical difficulties for taking (especially among adolescent girls due to sexuality not assumed vis-à-vis parents, packet of pills hidden outside the home …)
  • Lack of information on the diversity of contraceptive methods
  • Insufficient knowledge (cycles and fertility)
  • Persistence of received ideas (pill can make sterile, IUD not recommended for women who have never had children …)

To be well accepted and well followed, a contraceptive method must be adapted and chosen according to its daily reality.

Talk to your unit doctor or gynecologist: it can be very helpful to take stock and think together about the type of contraception that is best for you.

Emergency contraception known as the “morning after pill” does not replace regular contraception. It is a remedial method to be used after intercourse, in the event of failure (condom that tears or slips) or in the absence of contraception. Properly used, emergency contraception is an effective solution to prevent pregnancy. It is dispensed in pharmacies, with or without a prescription. This “pill” should be taken as soon as possible after intercourse because its effectiveness decreases over time.

For female military personnel

It is important to anticipate your contraception before leaving on a mission, staying overseas, or before boarding…. However, in these sometimes difficult conditions of remoteness, if there is a risk of unwanted pregnancy, an urgent consultation with the local military doctor must be made, under respect of medical confidentiality, in order to be quickly prescribed the “pill of the next day “.