Not condoms or pills, but monthly shots
Aonce-a-month contraceptive shot is set to give women more control over their bodies and prevent unwanted pregnancies, although the burden of contraception will still fall largely on them as male condom usage and sterilization have plunged.
While the use of condoms has declined 52% in eight years till 2016, vasectomy cases have fallen 73%, according to the health ministry. The use of birth control pills has also dropped 39% between 2008-16.
That may change soon, with an expert group approving fixed-dose combinations (FDCS) of synthetic oestrogen and progesterone and medroxyprogesterone 25 mg and estradiol cypionate 5 mg injection. The contraceptive offers protection to women of reproductive age when injected monthly.
The combination of oestrogen and progesterone was banned in August 1989. In 2017, an expert group under the chairmanship of the then director general the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr Soumya Swaminathan, recommended that the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) remove the ban on the combined injectable contraceptive cyclofem (the combination of progesterone and oestrogen) so that it can be made commercially available. In March 2018, the directorate general of health services (DGHS) constituted a sub-committee under the chairmanship of Dr Nilima Kshirsagar, national chair in clinical pharmacology at ICMR, to examine the feasibility of lifting the ban on contraceptive cyclofem.
The expert committee found enough evidence about the safety and efficacy of the injectable