September 26 is World Contraception Day

Today, September 26, marks the 5th anniversary of World Contraception Day. It is celebrated in about 70 countries worldwide and aims for ‘a world where every pregnancy is wanted’. Various events are undertaken in different countries to spread awareness of the absolute importance for the use of contraception among young people.

But according to a survey conducted by the Parenthood Foundation involving 6000 young adults from 26 different countries, it has been found that the percentage of young adults who do not use contraception is shockingly on the rise. In the US alone, the percent of young people not using contraception during sex has increased from 38% in 2009 to 53% today!

Despite all the measures being taken across the globe to spread awareness on contraceptive use, where do our efforts lack? Is the sex education that teenagers get in schools adequate and appropriate? Is the US policy of “abstinence-only” sex education effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies? Do teenagers feel empowered to ask questions about their sexuality and their options? Worldwide, are contraceptives difficult for young people to obtain?

This survey raises many questions, but provides important insight into what appears to be a startling lack of information and/or personal empowerment among young people.

Shivinder Dhillon, WHRI Co-op Student
Emily Wagner, Infectious Diseases Research Manager

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