The discovery of combined oral contraceptives (COCs), according to sociologists and doctors, has made a sexual revolution. This is not about the fact that, thanks to them, morals became more free, but that with their appearance, for the first time, a woman was able to decide when and how many children she should give birth to.

The choice of one or another contraceptive method varies considerably from country to country. This is influenced not only by economic, but also by socio-cultural factors.

Different preferences

In many countries of the world (for example, France, the Netherlands), hormonal contraception is covered by compulsory health insurance (COCs are issued to low-income citizens free of charge). But far from everywhere this method of protection against unwanted pregnancy is the most common. For example, in the UK, as told sociologist, Ph.D. in sociological sciences, candidate of social sciences at the University of Helsinki, professor at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the European University at St. Petersburg Anna Temkina, – surgical sterilization is very popular. At the same time, representatives of both sexes equally willingly agree to it (50/50). As a rule, these are family people who already have the number of children they need. In USA, the attitude towards sterilization is predominantly negative.

In the USSR, the situation with contraception was monstrous, since the main method of family planning was abortion. In the 60-70s of the last century, we were the only country where artificial termination of pregnancy was allowed. According to statistics, on average, a Soviet woman had 4 abortions in her life. Then it was not taken into account how destructively this operation affects women’s health, not to mention the moral side of the issue. By the way, as sociologists have found out, the ban on abortion does not lead to an increase in the birth rate in the long run. Those who did not want to give birth found ways to avoid it, even in those days. And today there are all possibilities for this, and without risk to life and health. Fortunately, from 1994 to 2015, the number of abortionsin world decreased by 5 times.

Hormonal contraception is essential

According to the results of the VTsIOM poll conducted this year, 71% women of reproductive age do not plan pregnancy over the next five years. Among the reasons are the lack of stability in life, the presence of the desired number of children and health restrictions. The vast majority of women (87%) resort to various methods of protection. Thus, the use of hormonal contraception is the third most popular method of protection against unwanted pregnancy (23%), after coitus interruptus and the barrier method. By the way, interrupted sexual intercourse, as well as calendar methods, are not seriously considered by gynecologists – they are very unreliable.

Oral contraceptives have been known for more than half a century, but even today there are two extremes in relation to them. Some women take them on the advice of friends or advertising, without consulting a gynecologist. According to surveys, in 2018, 52% of patients did just that. And the second – before deciding to take COCs, they spend a lot of effort, time and money on a complete check-up of the body, with a bunch of ultrasounds and tests.

Obstetrician-gynecologist, Associate Professor of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine of the Faculty of Continuing Medical Education of the RUDN University, Candidate of Medical Sciences Irina Shestakova advised not to go to extremes. There are few contraindications to taking COCs, and it is absolutely not necessary to conduct a complete examination for this. It is enough for the doctor to interview the patient about her personal and family medical history and measure her blood pressure. However, only a gynecologist should choose and prescribe a COC. And you need to take these drugs under his control in order to level out possible side effects in time.