Ministry of Health Supports Informed Birth Control DecisionsBy Sofía Garduño | Mon, 08/08/2022 - 16:49
The Ministry of Health (SSa), through the National Center of Gender Equality and Reproductive Health (CNEGSR), published technical guidelines for the prescription and use of contraceptive methods in Mexico. The document aims to support health professionals to guide women to make informed decisions regarding contraception and family planning.
“This will contribute to favoring the exercise of sexual and reproductive rights, while supporting autonomous, free and voluntary decisions regarding sexual and reproductive health,” state the guidelines. These are divided in three chapters that cover family planning and contraception services, guidelines regarding temporary contraceptive methods and guidelines regarding permanent contraceptive methods.
Mexico currently has the highest teenage pregnancy rate among all OECD countries at 77 births per 1,000 teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age. The country registers a daily number of over 1,000 births from under 19-year-old mothers. During the pandemic, pregnancies increased by 30 percent. Around 8,876 girls under 14 years of age got pregnant during the isolation period.
“Family planning and contraception allows to space out pregnancies and postpone the age of first birth in young women who have a higher risk of maternal mortality,” says Gabriela Rodríguez, Minister of the National Population Council (CONAPO).
Contraceptive use in rural areas stands at 68 percent of women against 70 percent in urban areas, according to Rodríguez. The contraceptive methods best known to Mexican women are the male condom (89.5 percent), the IUD (87.2 percent), the contraceptive implant (86.8 percent), coitus interruptus (80.7 percent) and the morning-after or emergency contraception pill (78.4 percent), as reported by MBN.
As of January 2022, Mexico's maternal mortality rate (MMR) is 53.1 deaths per 100,000 estimated births, which represents an increase of 18.7 percent compared to the previous year. Mexico is expected to reduce its 2010 MMR of 46 per 100,000 live births by at least two thirds by 2030. In Mexico, maternal death affects mainly those living in indigenous communities in the poorest regions of the country.
Aside from preventing pregnancies, SSA’s new guidelines also highlight the importance of preventing sexually transmitted infections (STI). STIs include syphilis, hepatitis B, AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea and other ailments caused by the herpes virus and HPV. The guidelines recommend to promote the use of double protection, which consists on the use of condom, feminine or masculine, and another contraceptive method.