El enigma de la fertilidad

BOSTON – Tal vez resulte inevitable que la anticoncepción y el crecimiento demográfico sean temas polémicos, dadas las muchas perspectivas que pesan sobre ellos. Los activistas de la salud reproductiva se centran en la planificación familiar y los derechos de la mujer a controlar su propio cuerpo. Los economistas analizan el impacto en el crecimiento sostenible. A los gobiernos les preocupa el exceso de población y el desempleo. Los trabajadores de la salud le tienen miedo a las enfermedades de transmisión sexual y a la desnutrición. Lograr el equilibrio adecuado entre estos diferentes puntos de vista no es una tarea sencilla -pero mucho depende de hacer las cosas como se debe.

Las nuevas tecnologías contraceptivas -como los preservativos, las píldoras y los dispositivos implantables- ofrecen formas de protección reversibles y permanentes. Pero su uso varía marcadamente -de apenas el 4,8% de las mujeres jóvenes en Chad al 84,6% en China-, lo que refleja diferencias en costos, disponibilidad y normas culturales.

La anticoncepción sin duda conlleva beneficios socioeconómicos y para la salud. Un estudio de 2012 reveló que su uso evitó unas 272.040 muertes maternas en 2008, 44% menos de las que habían ocurrido sin ella. El uso de anticonceptivos también ayudó a las economías menos desarrolladas, al aumentar el empleo y el potencial de ingresos de las mujeres.

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