Population Explosion and Contraceptive Methods


In 1900 the world population was around 2 billion (2000 million). By 2000, it rocketed to about 6 billion.
In India, population was nearly 350 million at the time of independence. It crossed 1 billion in May 2000. It means every sixth person in the world is an Indian.
According to the 2001 census report, the population growth rate was still around 1.7% (i.e. 17/1000/year), a rate at which our population could double in 33 years.

Reasons for population explosion

  • Increased health facilities and better living conditions. 
  • A rapid decline in death rate, maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR).
  • Increase in number of people in reproducible age.
Impacts of population explosion

Scarcity of basic requirements (e.g. food, shelter & clothing).

Control measures
  • Motivate smaller families by using contraceptive methods. 
  • Aware peoples about a slogan Hum Do Hamare Do (we two, our two). Many couples have adopted a ‘one child norm’.
  • Statutory rising of marriageable age of the female (18 years) and males (21 years).
Contraceptive methods

Properties of an ideal contraceptive:
  • User-friendly, easily available, effective and reversible.
  • No or least side-effects.
  • It should not interfere with sexual drive, desire & sexual act.
Contraceptives are classified as follows:
  1. Natural/Traditional methods
  2. Barriers
  3. Intra Uterine Devices (IUDs)
  4. Oral contraceptives
  5. Injectables
  6. Surgical methods (sterilization)
1. Natural/Traditional methods

In this, the chances of ovum and sperms meeting are avoided. It includes

  • Periodic abstinence: Avoid coitus from day 10 to 17 of the menstrual cycle (fertile period) to prevent conception. 
  • Coitus interruptus (withdrawal): Withdraw penis from the vagina just before ejaculation to avoid insemination. 
  • Lactational amenorrhea: It is the prevention of conception by breastfeeding the child. Ovulation and the cycle do not occur during the period of lactation. It has no side effect. This is effective up to 6 months following parturition. Chances of failure of this method are high. 
2. Barriers

These are the devices that prevent physical meeting of sperm & ovum. They include
  • Condoms (E.g. Nirodh): These are made of rubber/latex sheath. They are used to cover the penis or vagina & cervix, just before coitus so that the semen would not enter into female reproductive tract. 

Condoms are very popular because:
- It protects the user from STDs and AIDS.  
- It is disposable. 
- It can be self-inserted and thereby give privacy to user. 

  • Diaphragms, cervical caps and vaults: These are also made of rubber those are inserted into the female reproductive tract to cover the cervix during coitus. They block the entry of sperms through the cervix. They are reusable. 

Spermicidal creams, jellies & foams
are used along with these barriers to increase contraceptive efficiency.

3. Intra Uterine Devices (IUDs)

These are inserted by doctors or expert nurses in the uterus through vagina. They increase phagocytosis of sperms.


IUDs are different types:
  • Non-medicated IUDs: They retard sperm motility. They also have spermicidal effect. E.g. Lippes loop.
  • Copper releasing IUDs: Cu ions suppress motility and fertilising capacity of sperms. E.g. CuT, Cu7, Multiload 375.
  • Hormone releasing IUDs: They make the uterus unsuitable for implantation and the cervix hostile to the sperms. E.g. Progestasert, LNG-20.
IUDs are ideal contraceptives for the females who want to delay pregnancy or space children.

4. Oral contraceptives

It is the oral administration of progestogens or progestogen–estrogen combinations in the form of tablets (pills).

Pills are taken daily for 21 days starting within the first five days of menstrual cycle. After a gap of 7 days (during which menstruation occurs) it has to be repeated in the same pattern till the female desires to prevent conception.

They inhibit ovulation and implantation as well as alter the quality of cervical mucus to prevent entry of sperms.

Pills are very effective with lesser side effects.

Saheli: It is a new oral contraceptive for the females. It contains a non-steroidal preparation. It is a ‘once a week’ pill with very few side effects and high contraceptive value.
5. Injectables

Progestogens alone or in combination with oestrogen are used by females as injections or implants under skin.


Their mode of action is similar to that of pills and their effective periods are much longer.

Progestogens or progestogen-oestrogen combinations and IUDs are used within 72 hours of coitus as emergency contraceptives. It avoids pregnancy due to rape or casual intercourse.

6. Surgical methods (sterilization)

Sterilization helps to block gamete transport and thereby prevents conception. It is very effective but reversibility is poor. Sterilization is 2 types:
  • Vasectomy: It is the sterilization procedure in males. In this, a small part of the vas deferens is removed or tied up through a small incision on the scrotum.
  • Tubectomy: It is the sterilization procedure in females. In this, a small part of the fallopian tube is removed or tied up through a small incision in the abdomen or through vagina. 

Side effects of anti-natural contraceptives:

Nausea, abdominal pain, breakthrough bleeding (BTB), irregular menstrual bleeding, breast cancer etc.


Intentional or voluntary termination of pregnancy before full term is called MTP or induced abortion.

45 to 50 million MTPs are performed in a year all over the world (i.e. 1/5th of total number of conceived pregnancies).

MTP helps to decrease the population.

Because of emotional, ethical, religious and social issues many countries have not legalised MTP.

Government of India legalised MTP in 1971 with some strict conditions to check indiscriminate and illegal female foeticides which are reported to be high in India.

Importance of MTP

  • To avoid unwanted pregnancies due to casual intercourse or failure of the contraceptive used during coitus or rapes. 
  • Essential in cases where continuation of the pregnancy could be harmful to the mother or to the foetus or both.
MTPs are safe during the first trimester, (up to 12 weeks of pregnancy). 2nd trimester abortions are very risky.

Problems related with MTPs
  • Majority of the MTPs are performed illegally.
  • Misuse of amniocentesis (a foetal sex determination test based on the chromosomal pattern in the amniotic fluid). If the foetus is female, it is followed by MTP. Such practices are dangerous for the young mother and foetus.

Diseases transmitted through sexual intercourse are called Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)/Venereal diseases (VD) or Reproductive tract infections (RTI). 

E.g. Gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydiasis, genital warts, trichomoniasis, hepatitis-B & HIV leading to AIDS.

AIDS patient
Hepatitis-B & HIV are also transmitted
  • By sharing of injection needles, surgical instruments etc. 
  • By transfusion of blood.
  • From infected mother to foetus.
Except hepatitis-B, genital herpes & HIV, other diseases are completely curable if detected early and treated properly.

Early symptoms: Itching, fluid discharge, slight pain, swellings, etc., in the genital region.

Absence or less significant early symptoms and the social stigma deter the infected persons to consult a doctor. This leads to pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID), abortions, still births, ectopic pregnancies, infertility, cancer of the reproductive tract etc.

All persons are vulnerable to STDs. These are very high among persons in the age group of 15-24 years.


i. Avoid sex with unknown partners/multiple partners.
ii. Always use condoms during coitus.
iii. In case of doubt, go to a qualified doctor for early detection and get complete treatment.


  1. It is important that every individual should be aware Hormonal contraceptive device to avoid unwanted pregnancy. This post is very informational for individual to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

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