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Contraceptive awareness needs a rise
Updated: 2004-08-20 10:06

Shanghai women and doctors still hold misunderstanding about oral contraceptives, said medical experts after conducting the city's first survey on people's knowledge about contraceptive methods.

Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital studied 500 female patients between 18 and 35 years old and 89 doctors at the facility.

The survey was released earlier this week. It found that one third of patients were ignorant of oral contraceptives and doctors' knowledge on the issue also lagged.

"The survey is to identify local young women's understanding on oral contraceptives, as well as the overall information on birth control," said Chen Junling, who presided over the program.

The survey found that only 2.2 percent of those interviewed took pills. Condoms were the top choice for women under 35.

However, 20.8 percent of those women didn't take preventive measures, though they had no plans to have children.

Previous research in Shanghai and Shandong Province found that 30 percent of those that have had an abortion never practiced contraceptive methods. In addition, 60 percent experienced failed birth control methods.

"Women don't choose oral contraceptives for fear of side effects," Chen said. "Professional research claims that the pills won't enhance risks, such as in getting breast cancer, increasing weight and influencing future pregnancy."

When ordinary people don't know medicines well, many doctors are not authoritative on the issue, either.

The survey found that one third of the doctors didn't trust the effect of the medicines and 21 percent worried about side effects.

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