KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 – According to a recent survey conducted by Alpro Pharmacy, unplanned pregnancy is one of the top five concerns amongst women in Malaysia.
However, a quarter of the 1,300 women respondents do not use any contraception and nearly 50 per cent relies on natural family planning or the pull-out method.
With an aim to create awareness around effective birth control methods, Alpro Pharmacy and Bayer recently launched the Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult to empower women in making educated decisions about family planning.
Both Alpro and Bayer are part of the United Nations Global Compact, and Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult is a joint initiative that contributes towards Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) 3 on Good Health and Wellbeing, as well as Goal 5 on Gender Equality.
“Babies are lovely; however, unplanned pregnancy could cause emotional, mental, and physical stress on women. As many are still recovering financially from the prolonged pandemic, coupled with high cost of living, having a baby requires careful advanced planning,” said Lim En-Ni, Alpro’s chief pharmacist.
“With the changed role of a modern woman, women need to manage their time for education and careers, as well as building a family. The Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult connects health care professionals and patients remotely and conveniently, providing women with personalised family planning advice on choosing the right contraceptive methods,” she added.
To commemorate the upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023, Alpro Pharmacy and Bayer also held a roundtable discussion on the subject of Women’s Empowerment and Family Planning, with panellists including Lim, Dr Maiza Tusimin, consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist and reproductive medicine physician, and Sazzy Falak, co-founder of Womentum Life.
“Bayer has a long history in women’s health and as a leader in hormonal contraception, we have been supporting family-planning programs for more than 50 years,” said Yamini Prakash, Bayer country division head, pharmaceuticals, for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.
“Besides access to family planning products, self-determined decisions in reproductive health require contraceptive awareness and knowledge. Providing women with a safe, personal and comfortable environment to obtain accurate information about their choices in family planning is important to us at Bayer, and going digital is the way forward.
“We are delighted to collaborate with Alpro Pharmacy, who also shares a similar vision and mission to positively educate and empower women on family planning,” she added.
“Sex is considered a taboo subject and contraception is not taught in schools. It is important to have platforms like Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult that give personal attention and professional advice to those who have questions on how to avoid unplanned pregnancy,” said Sazzy.
Highlights From The Roundtable Discussion
The benefits of good family planning include:
- Empowering women: Women who can control the number and timing of their children can take better advantage of educational and economic opportunities and improve their own future and that of their families.
- Reducing the number of abortions overall, especially unsafe abortion. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 45 per cent of all abortion are unsafe, of which 97 per cent take place in developing countries. Fewer unsafe abortions would lead to fewer maternal deaths and injuries.
- Improving maternal health and child survival: Helping women avoid becoming pregnant too early, too late, or too often benefits them and their children.
The survey results also revealed that over 20 per cent of the respondents are likely to use emergency pills (a.k.a. the morning after pill) as contraception, while its intended usage is only for backup contraception and not be used as a primary method of birth control.
The pill is not recommended as an ongoing form of birth control because it isn’t as effective at preventing pregnancy as birth control methods like oral contraceptives. Frequent use of the pill may cause periods to become irregular and unpredictable.
The majority of the survey respondents said they did self-search for information online and normally only talk to a health care professional if they need to look for advice on contraception. However, women need to be aware of misinformation on the internet.
Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult makes getting personalised and professional advice on birth control as simple as ABC.
Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult is available daily from 9.00 am to 10.00 pm via Whatsapp 019-6129006, or click here for more information.