Family planning important to prevent depression and psychosis in mothers: Bengaluru’s top fertility specialist

BENGALURU / July 11, 2023 – Family planning enables women to bear a child when they are in position to provide emotional, physical, and financial support. This helps prevent issues such as postpartum depression and psychosis in mothers and emotional deprivation and neglect in children. As Indian society moves towards nuclear families, the importance of thoughtful family planning is becoming even more acute. This was said by Dr. Vidya V Bhat, Medical Director, RadhaKrishna Multispeciality Hospital, Bengaluru, who is among the foremost IVF and fertility specialists in the country.

Said Dr. Vidya V Bhat: “In today’s society, family planning has become an indispensable aspect of individuals’ lives. The profound impact of childbearing on working mothers in terms of career, physical and mental health, and financial responsibilities has made the control of conception more crucial than ever. Family planning is no longer only about limiting the size of the family but also encompasses the timing and number of births. By embracing family planning, individuals can make informed choices that contribute to their overall well-being and the well-being of their children.”

Dr. Vidya V Bhat added that to assist individuals in making informed decisions, a variety of contraceptive methods are available today. Barrier methods such as male and female condoms, as well as cervical cups, create a mechanical barrier between sperm and the female genital tract, thereby preventing pregnancy and offering protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Oral contraceptives, both combined and progesterone-only pills, prevent ovulation, while injectables and implants provide hormonal contraception. Intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs) are placed in the uterus, acting through aseptic inflammation, and permanent methods like tubectomy, vasectomy, or ESSURE offer a more irreversible solution.

She said: “When used correctly, these contraceptive methods have a high effectiveness rate in preventing pregnancy, with oral contraceptives, IUCDs, and permanent methods having the lowest failure rates ranging from 0.1% to 0.8%. Factors such as the purpose of contraception, duration needed, medical considerations, temporary or permanent solutions, and financial constraints should be taken into account when selecting a method.”

Hormonal preparations, composed of estrogen and progesterone hormones, offer reversible suppression of fertility. They work by inhibiting the release of gonadotropin hormones (FSH, LH), thus preventing ovulation, thickening the cervical mucus to impede sperm movement, and creating an unsuitable endometrium for implantation. “While some hormonal contraceptives may have side effects, such as a slight risk of thrombosis or blood clot formation, the use of low-dose pills has significantly reduced these risks,” Dr. Vidya V Bhat said.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) are a category of contraceptives that offer birth control for an extended period without requiring frequent user action. The two main types of LARC are intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs) and implants. Hormonal LARC, containing progesterone, and non-hormonal LARC, such as copper impregnated IUCDs, provide highly effective contraception. Hormonal LARC methods act by thickening cervical mucus, altering sperm movement, and thinning the endometrium, making it unsuitable for implantation.

Dr. Vidya Bhat said: “These methods are suitable for women of all ages and offer several benefits such as minimal daily adherence, fewer visits to healthcare providers, cost-effectiveness over time compared to daily pills, easy reversibility, and high rates of user satisfaction. Importantly, fertility is not compromised after their removal.”

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