Only 12% of Young Chinese Familiar with Contraceptive Knowledge

September 22, 2013
Editor: Sun Xi
Only 12 percent of young Chinese people say they are very familiar with contraceptive knowledge, according to a media report. []

Only 12 percent of young Chinese people say they are very familiar with contraceptive knowledge, according to a media report. []

Only 12 percent of young Chinese people say they are very familiar with contraceptive knowledge, according to a media report.

In conjunction with the upcoming World Contraception Day on September 26, 2013, experts have called on more social organizations to raise awareness about women’s reproductive health and the issue of contraception.

The media also reported that the oral contraceptive usage rate among Chinese people is only 1.2 percent while the rate in Europe, the United States and other Asian countries falls between 27 percent and 52 percent.

Up to 68.3 percent of Chinese women are confused about the difference between the birth control pill and the morning after pill and 68.4 percent overestimate the effectiveness of emergency contraceptives.

Over 1.3 million women go through induced abortions each year in China and half of them have had more than one. Government statistics also show that about 62 percent of the women who have had abortions are between 20 and 29 years old, and most are single.

However, the actual number of performed abortions is believed to be higher because the statistics were collected from registered medical institutions and do not include those carried out in unregistered clinics.

Experts say that most people in China simply do not know how to use contraceptives and young people today still face certain barriers in accessing reliable information on contraceptives, notably a reluctance and shame to talk about such topics, or a fear of coming across as stupid.

In China, most people obtain contraceptive information mainly from the Internet, reproductive health education materials, magazines and TV programs. However, most Chinese women are still confused over contraceptive methods. Although condoms are commonly used, many people mistakenly believe that they are 100 percent effective. Some use the unreliable rhythm method of birth control and many women who use birth control pills tolerate side effects such as headaches and breakthrough bleeding without knowing that there are different types of the pill that they can try, some of which may not give them these side effects.

According to Wu Shangchun of the National Population and Family Planning Commission of the Science and Technology Institute, most of the women make two common mistakes with contraceptives: they push their luck and they want to keep things too simple. The basic reason why half of the women get abortions is because they simply did not use contraception; the other half did apply some form of contraception but were unable to persist in using it correctly or adequately. Only about 10 percent of people persist in using condoms every time they have intercourse.

The rise in the abortion rate in China, especially among young women, has drawn public attention.

Qi Rongyi, the chief physician of the gynecology and obstetrics department of a hospital in north China's Tianjin Municipality, said that the number of girls under 16 undergoing abortions grows at a rate of 30 percent annually.

In China, it is common to see advertisements claiming to be able to provide "painless abortions", sending the message that an abortion is an easy way out with few consequences.

Although the Chinese government has banned these advertisements, they are still common and some small hospitals and clinics still offer discounts on abortions to students if they can provide their student ID cards.

Such persistent promotion of "painless abortions" easily misleads women on the risks and dangers of unsafe abortions.

According to People's Daily, 88 percent of women who suffer secondary infertility have had an abortion and the possibility of future infertility is up to 92 percent after having four or more abortions.

(Source: and edited by

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