Health benefits of birth control

What Are the Benefits & Advantages of Birth Control Pills?

In This Section

  • Birth Control Pill
  • How effective is the pill?
  • Are there birth control pill side effects?
  • How safe is the pill?
  • How do I use the pill?
  • How do I get the pill?
  • What are the benefits of the pill?
  • What are the disadvantages of the pill?

The birth control pill is a safe, simple, and convenient way to prevent pregnancy. It also has other benefits like reducing acne, making your periods lighter and more regular, and easing menstrual cramps.

The pill is an effective way to prevent pregnancy.

If you follow the instructions and use the birth control pill correctly, it gives you great protection against pregnancy.

All you have to do is stick to your daily pill schedule, and make sure you start your new packs on time — that’s it. But if you miss or forget pills, it won’t work as well. You can use our birth control reminder app to keep you on track.

You can use condoms along with your birth control pills to get extra protection from pregnancy. Bonus: condoms also help protect against STDs.

The pill has health benefits.

Side effects aren’t always a bad thing, and birth control pills aren’t just for birth control. The pill has many perks besides pregnancy prevention.

Both combination and progestin-only pills reduce menstrual cramps, lighten periods, and lower your risk of ectopic pregnancy.

The combination pill can also help prevent or lessen:

  • acne

  • bone thinning

  • cysts in your breasts and ovaries

  • endometrial and ovarian cancers

  • serious infections in your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus

  • iron deficiency (anemia)

  • PMS (premenstrual syndrome)

You can keep track of any potential side effects with our birth control app.

The pill can make your periods better.

Lots of people like the pill because it makes their periods regular and easy to predict. The hormones in the pill can also reduce menstrual cramps and make your period lighter.

You can also use the pill to safely skip your period, which is totally convenient for people who want a special occasion to be period-free, or just don’t want a visit from Aunt Flo every month.

You can get pregnant right away when you stop taking the pill.

Many people on the pill want to have kids when the time is right. One of the great things about the birth control pill is you can get pregnant right after you stop taking it.

After you stop taking the pill, it can take a few months for your periods to return to the cycle you had before you started using it. Once in a while, people have irregular periods or no periods at all for a few months. This is more likely if your periods were irregular before you started taking the pill.

Even if your regular period doesn’t come back right away, it’s still possible to get pregnant when you’re not taking the pill. So if you’re going off the pill but don’t want to get pregnant, start using another birth control method right away.

The pill is convenient.

Taking the birth control pill is easy, but remembering to take it every day can be hard. Luckily, pill packs are small — about the size of a cell phone — so you can carry your pills with you wherever you go. You can use our birth control app to remind you to take your pills everyday.

The pill is birth control you don’t have to think about during sex. If you take the pill correctly, you’re protected from pregnancy all day, every day. Many people say the pill makes their sex lives better because they don’t have to interrupt sex or worry about pregnancy.

You need a prescription from a nurse or doctor to get birth control pills. But you may be able to pick up many packs at once or have them mailed to you. Depending on where you live, you can even get birth control pills online.

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The Pill

The pill doesn’t protect you from  STDs. Use a condom with your pill to help stop pregnancy and STDs.

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Birth Control: Benefits Beyond Pregnancy Prevention

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

In this Article

  • Regular Periods
  • Help With Cramps, PMS, and Anemia
  • Relieve Endometriosis Symptoms and Prevent Ovarian Cysts
  • Clear Up Skin and Prevent Unwanted Hair Growth
  • Help With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Lower Your Risk of Some Cancers
  • Talk to Your Doctor

You know birth control pills can help you avoid getting pregnant, but the pill can have other benefits, too, including making your period less painful and more regular, clearing up your skin, and lowering your risk of some cancers.

While birth control is the most common reason people use the pill, 14% of pill users take it only for other reasons. And more than half of pill users rely on it at least in part for purposes other than pregnancy prevention. Benefits of taking birth control pills beyond preventing pregnancy include:

Regular Periods

Birth control pills can help even out your period so you know exactly when it’s coming. Traditional birth control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, which are similar to the hormones your ovaries make. You take hormone-containing "active" pills for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week of inactive pills. You get your period the week you take the inactive pills.

Newer options let you use the pills to control your period in the way that works best for you and your lifestyle. Some products now have 24 active pills and 4 inactive pills, making your monthly cycle shorter. With these extended-cycle types, you take active pills for a longer amount of time. One option is to take 3 months of active pills before you take a break. This means you’ll only have your period four times a year. You can even plan to avoid your period during busy times like final exams, sports activities, or social events. With newer extended-cycle options, you can take active pills every day for a year and stop your period altogether.

Another type, known as the minipill, can stop your period or make it lighter. You take this pill every day for 28 days.

Help With Cramps, PMS, and Anemia

Taking birth control pills may lower your risk of heavy menstrual bleeding by preventing ovulation and making the lining of the uterus thinner. A lighter period lowers your risk of iron-deficiency anemia, which results from heavy bleeding. The pill may also ease painful cramps because it prevents ovulation and lightens your period.

If you have PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), birth control pills may ease symptoms like mood swings, breast soreness, weight gain, bloating, and acne by evening out hormone levels during your cycle. Using the pill to balance your hormone levels may also lead to fewer and less severe menstrual-related migraines.

Relieve Endometriosis Symptoms and Prevent Ovarian Cysts

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus grows outside of it. This can cause painful periods with painful menstrual cramps. Birth control pills don’t cure endometriosis, but they may help you control your pain by stopping your periods.

The pills may also keep ovarian cysts from coming back.

Clear Up Skin and Prevent Unwanted Hair Growth

Birth control pills can improve acne and hair growth in the midline of your body by reducing the levels of male hormones your ovaries make. If you have higher than normal levels of these hormones, or if you’re sensitive to them, you may start to grow hair above your lip, under your chin, between your breasts, between your belly button and pubic bone, or down your inner thigh. You should see less unwanted hair within 6 months.

The hormones in birth control pills can also help stop acne from forming, but it may take several months to see a difference.

Help With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common condition among teen girls and young women, is a hormone imbalance in which the ovaries make extra amounts of testosterone. It can cause irregular periods, unwanted hair growth, and acne. Taking birth control pills can improve these symptoms by balancing your hormones, lowering the level of testosterone, and regulating your period.

Lower Your Risk of Some Cancers

Taking birth control pills can raise your odds of getting some cancers but lower the chance you’ll get others. Women who have taken birth control have a 30% to 50% lower risk of ovarian cancer than women who have never taken the pill. The longer you take it, the less likely you are to get this type of cancer. The lower risk lasts up to 30 years after you stop taking the pill.

Women who have taken birth control pills also have a lower risk of endometrial cancer than those who haven’t. It lowers your odds of getting this type of cancer by at least 30%. The longer you take the pill, the more your risk goes down. This benefit also lasts for many years after you stop taking the pill. Growing evidence also suggests the pill may lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer while you take it.

Talk to Your Doctor

Birth control pills may offer you some benefits besides pregnancy prevention, but they may not be the best birth control option for you. And they don’t protect you from STDs. Talk to your doctor. Together, you can decide what to do.

What will the decrease in the population of the planet lead to and should we be afraid of it?

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In October 2011, the world's population for the first time exceeded 7 billion people, and not everyone was delighted. Overpopulation is a concern for many governments and public organizations talking about a global demographic crisis. After all, the more people are born, the more resources are required, which are already lacking. nine0003

The atmosphere is heating up, rivers are being polluted, forests are being cut down, and there are more and more people. Sooner or later, this will lead to a lack of food, drinking water and other resources. In addition, the environmental situation will worsen.

But according to the authors of the book, sociologist-researcher Darrell Bricker and journalist John Ibbitson, overpopulation does not threaten the planet at all. Somewhere in the middle of the 21st century, the population will begin to gradually decline. Once this process starts, it will be impossible to stop it. nine0003

According to the UN, by 2100 the world's population will already number 11 billion. Many demographers around the world disagree. They agree that population growth will peak around the middle of the 21st century and then reverse.

In some 20 or so countries, the population is already declining, and by 2050 a dozen more countries will join them. Moreover, this does not depend on the standard of living and prosperity of the country: the population is declining in Japan, Spain, Italy, many countries of Eastern Europe, Korea and some others. nine0003

The birth rate is also declining in developing countries. By 2050, population decline will also be observed in countries where the birth rate is traditionally high: India, Brazil, China, Indonesia, some countries in Africa and the Middle East, where there is now a real baby boom. But the boom will die down much sooner than the UN suggests, Bricker and Ibbitson say.

When a child born in the 2020s turns 30, they will live in a society with a large number of older people. There will be no job problems in this world, but high health care taxes and pensions for the elderly will eat up most of the earnings. The number of schools will decrease due to the low birth rate. Its influence is already being felt. nine0003

Older children are in no hurry to grow up and start their own family, staying with their parents until gray hair. In Latin America and Africa, women have ceased to be uncomplaining wives, giving birth as many as God sends, they take their fate into their own hands and decide for themselves how many children they have.

China once adopted a one-child policy at the state level, and today China is reaping its benefits. You can have two or more children, but when one child becomes the norm, he will remain the norm. Modern couples no longer consider the birth of children their duty to the family, the state or God. For them, this is an act of self-realization, and not everyone goes for it. nine0003

One way to combat population decline is to take in as many immigrants as possible. Canada is pursuing this policy, but not everyone follows its example. Someone cannot accept multiculturalism, not wanting to integrate migrants and refugees into their society and leaving them to live in separate areas like a ghetto. Others are in favor of closing the borders altogether.

The key to the success of the United States, according to the authors, lay in the "melting pot" where immigrants from all over the world boiled, and in many respects this circumstance made them a prosperous strong country. nine0003

When Trump today threatens to cut off the flow of immigrants from Mexico and other countries, which is what made America great at the time, the process can be reversed. Today, the United States has not only tightened its policy on illegal immigrants, but also reduced the number of work visas for qualified professionals. If this trend continues, America will also begin to lose its population, and with it, power, influence and wealth.

In isolation, any society, especially with a declining birth rate, gradually begins to fade. nine0003

Once the population was regulated by famine or epidemics. Today, this is practically over, people cull themselves when they do not want to breed at all or have more than one child.

It takes an average of two children per woman to maintain the population, but no government policy, including the most generous and promising big benefits for the birth of the second and third child, has failed to make the birth rate increase. As long as this trend continues, humanity will gradually age more and more. nine0003

Important ideas of the book

The first idea. For the entire time of existence, the population of the Earth has been reduced many times due to epidemics and wars, but the number has been restored and increased again

70 thousand years ago, only a few thousand people survived as a result of the catastrophic eruption of the Toba volcano in Sumatra. The ground was covered with volcanic ash and did not bear fruit, many species died. Nevertheless, people managed to survive and survive as a species. They found other lands where life persisted, and gradually restored their numbers. nine0003

When humans learned to cultivate the land for their crops (about 12,000 years ago), this led to organized economies and the first civilizations, first in the Middle East and then in other parts of the world. Part of the population continued to engage in hunting and gathering, while others settled on the land and engaged in its processing. The population was growing.

From time to time one tribe or people overtook others in development and conquered them. Roads were built, agricultural implements improved, laws and taxes appeared. nine0003

After periods of prosperity, when people were fruitful and multiplied, some disasters came: crop failures, pestilence, raids of enemies. However, the population continued to grow. If only a few thousand survived after the eruption of Toba, then by the first century of our era the population was about 300 million. By 1300, it had increased to about 400 million, but a plague epidemic came.

The first plague pandemic, the Plague of Justinian, was recorded as early as 541 AD. It quickly spread throughout the world, flaring up in one place or another in the form of separate epidemics. Byzantium suffered the most, especially Constantinople. Around the world, about 125 million people died from it. nine0003

But these were flowers compared to the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century, when about 60% of the population of Europe died. The epidemic had not only demographic, but economic, political, religious and cultural consequences. In some cities and regions, the former population was restored only after several hundred years.

In particular, one of the consequences of the Black Death was the beginning of an era of exploration and colonization of new lands. The fear of Europeans before long voyages disappeared - they realized that it was as easy to die on land as in the sea. But colonization led to a reduction in the indigenous population of America, which died at the hands of the conquerors and the diseases they brought, to which the Indians had no immunity. Pestilence, famine and war did not allow the population to grow in the Middle Ages, but by 1727 its number was already 600 million.

American demographer Warren Thompson put forward the theory of demographic patterns and their stages. In the first stage, from the dawn of mankind to the 18th century, both birth and death rates were equally high, and the population grew slowly and unevenly. High infant mortality, malnutrition, and disease meant that few people lived past the age of 50. In addition, crime and war were a constant threat.

However, in the 18th century, the population exceeded one billion. More people appeared in one century than in the previous four centuries combined. nine0003

From the first stage - high birth rate and high death rate - the world has moved to the second one: the death rate is decreasing, the birth rate is growing.

There were fewer epidemics, outbreaks of plague were less and less frequent, and they were quickly extinguished. Agriculture developed, people began to eat better and became more resistant to disease.

In Europe, after the end of the Thirty Years' War, there were no wars for more than a century, which means that trade grew, the standard of living rose, infrastructure developed. New products were imported from America - corn, tomatoes and potatoes, which enriched the food of Europeans. In addition, the Industrial Revolution brought about factories, roads, the telegraph, and electricity. Life became more comfortable, there were fewer epidemics, as well as infant mortality, and there was also a vaccine against smallpox. nine0003

Although the lives of many people in Europe, the US and Great Britain were poor and full of hardships, the population grew, helped by discoveries in the field of microbiology that prevented new epidemics. Thanks to these discoveries, water began to be chlorinated, a sewage system was developed, and other methods were used to combat unsanitary conditions. Medicine advanced, especially in the field of painkillers and disinfectants.

At the third demographic stage, the death rate will decrease along with the birth rate. At the end of 19In the 1900s and early 20th century, the birth rate fell, but the death rate continued to decline, despite the terrible Spanish flu epidemic and the First World War.

With the exception of this flu, the fight against unsanitary conditions, the development of medicine and public health continued to affect the decline in mortality. But this was the case in developed prosperous countries, while most of the world's population still lived in conditions of high mortality and high birth rates.

After the Second World War, with increasing prosperity, at 1950-1960s, a real baby boom began, especially in the USA. The middle class grew and developed, cheap mortgages appeared, couples got married earlier and aspired to have as many children as possible. The same processes took place in Canada, Europe, and later in West Germany.

Second idea. The future population explosion is nothing more than a myth

The first person to talk about catastrophic overpopulation was the English priest, demographer and economist Thomas Malthus. He was sure that the constant and uncontrolled growth of the population would sooner or later cause famine on Earth. The better and more comfortable life is, the faster reproduction will go. nine0003

Progress has affected all areas of existence, except for the passion between men and women. Because of the love of sex, people are actively multiplying exponentially, but agriculture and food production are growing exponentially. They are no longer enough for everyone, as Malthus could observe in his poor parish, where he was a priest.

It is the poor who will suffer first. Periods of economic growth will lead to an increase in the birth rate in poor families, but this will be a temporary improvement, until another recession. There will be more and more poor people, and less and less food. nine0003

Malthus's theories are more than two hundred years old, and nothing catastrophic has happened to demography in these two hundred years. Moreover, modern people live much better, longer and healthier than the poor of the time of Malthus.

But Malthus was not the only creator of the myth of future overpopulation. In 1968, biologist and demographer Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University published the bestseller Population Bomb, in which he argued that overpopulation would lead to famine as early as the 1970s and 1980s.

He believed that the post-war increase in food production and modern medicine reduced mortality in the "underdeveloped" countries, but at the same time increased the birth rate. In prosperous countries like the United States, fertility is falling, but agricultural capacity is depleting, the environment is deteriorating, which can lead to food shortages.

The problem of overpopulation is solved either through a decrease in the birth rate, or through an increase in mortality. And if in the second case everything will be decided by epidemics, famine and wars, then the birth rate can be controlled, including by forced sterilization, and taxes on diapers, and other measures. nine0003

Erlich's prophecies did not come true - there was no mass famine, moreover, he was practically defeated, despite the increase in the population to 7. 5 billion people. Infant and maternal mortality declined, and air and water quality improved thanks to vigorous measures (Ehrlich noted that with such pollution, clean drinking water would soon become an acute shortage). From the 1950s to the 2010s, the population doubled, but food production tripled, thanks to new fertilizers, synthetic herbicides and genetic engineering. nine0003

The economies of India and China grew, the countries became more and more urbanized. This process always leads to a drop in the birth rate, which happened in India. In China, the birth rate fell due to the one-child policy introduced in 1979. The economies of South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Chile developed rapidly. The population grew along with the massive increase in wealth.

But Erlich was not convinced by this, he said that he was only slightly mistaken in terms, but sooner or later overpopulation will happen, so he still insists on state birth control. Analysts from the Club of Rome in their report "The Limits to Growth" express the same concerns. nine0003

The United Nations has a population division that has existed since 1946. Demographers and statisticians work in it. They give population growth projections that are pretty accurate. According to their data, if the population reaches 11.2 billion by 2100, and then the number stabilizes and gradually declines, nothing bad will happen, there will be enough food for everyone.

This optimistic variant is based on the birth rates for each country. But if this coefficient increases even by 0.5%, it will lead to a catastrophe, because 17 billion people, who are continuously and uncontrollably multiplying, will not be fed by any food revolution. In addition, it can lead to an environmental disaster. nine0003

There is a third scenario. If women start giving birth less, then by 2050 the population will peak at 8.5 billion, and then begin to decline.

Both Bricker and Ibbitson are sure that this is the most likely option.

The birth rate has been declining since the 1970s, dropping below 2. 1, the rate at which the population is kept at about the same level.

The more urbanized the society, the more women manage their bodies on their own, the fewer children they have. In addition, the role of religion is weakening, which in some societies had a direct impact on family behavior, including childbearing. nine0003

Despite the gloomy prophecies, most demographers believe that nothing like catastrophic overpopulation awaits our planet. Of course, there are many people, their activities spoil the environment and contribute to the extinction of species, but the Apocalypse will not happen due to overpopulation.

After a slight increase, the number of people will stabilize, and then, around the middle of the 21st century, will begin to decline.

The third idea. The elderly population in Europe is on the rise

To maintain the population, the fertility rate must be at least 2.1. However, today it is 1.8 in Belgium and the UK, 1.6 in the EU as a whole, 1. 3 in Greece and Romania, and 1.4 in Slovakia. In Italy, fewer children were born in 2015 than in any other year since the founding of the state. In Poland, where anti-abortion Catholicism has always been strong, 200 schools closed in 2015 for lack of children.

Young European couples finally freed themselves from the influence of old traditions, family and religious. They do not give birth to children, not only because it is expensive to raise children and they, working, do not have time for this. Complete freedom in this matter is also important for them, when childbearing depends entirely on their desire and nothing more. nine0003

The countries of Eastern Europe have already lost 6% of their population since the 1990s - 18 million people - and this process continues.

It would seem that the fewer people, the easier it is to live: more space, a wider choice of jobs, cheaper housing. But it's not.

The fewer young able-bodied people, the less taxes go to the treasury for health care and pensions. They also make up the main group of consumers, so the number of buyers of cars, household appliances and clothing will be greatly reduced, which means a slowdown in economic growth. nine0003

The Industrial Revolution in 19th century Europe moved many young men from the countryside to the cities to work in factories and factories. When living in the city, a child from an asset (in the countryside, this is a future farm worker, father's assistant) turns into a burden, an extra mouth, and the townspeople do not aspire to a large number of children.

Modern women have more opportunities, and they also do not aspire to become mothers of many children. European society has traditionally been one of the most secular, and women in it are among the most free. Therefore, the process of population decline in Europe is going faster than anywhere else. nine0003

In France, the decline in fertility began at the end of the 18th century. The Germans were more prolific, and therefore their larger army defeated the French in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. The declining birth rate may threaten national security in the not too distant future.

After the baby boom, which, depending on the country, occurred in the 1940s and 1950s, the birth rate in Europe began to decline again.

Despite the decline in the birth rate, population decline in Europe is not yet felt. This is because, in parallel with the decline in the birth rate, life expectancy is increasing. New medical discoveries, modern surgical operations, the going out of fashion of bad habits such as smoking, the availability of fruits all year round, brought to Europe from warm countries, have done their job. nine0003

Whereas in the UK life expectancy was 68 years in 1960, by 2010 it was already 79 years, and this is not expected to be the limit. In many countries, this has already led to problems in the pension system. In general, older people support the population for the time being, but then, with their departure and a decrease in the number of children, the decline begins to become apparent.

Developed societies with below-replacement birth rates try to slow down population decline with the help of immigration when they let in workers from African and Arab countries. This process is associated with many problems, such as interethnic tension, isolation, rejection. Nevertheless, the children of immigrants born in Europe are already fully adapting to a new life. nine0003

So Europe, according to the authors, is gradually becoming more brown and gray - due to the influx of immigrants and the aging of the population.

This frightens many Eastern European countries, in particular Bulgaria, which has set up a hard cordon on the border with Turkey so that not a single refugee from Syria crosses it. This is the official policy of the country. The government does not want an influx of people of a culture alien to them and a religion hostile to them, and the country is paying for this with a decrease in population.

Anti-immigrant sentiment is fed from various sources. It was not least because of these sentiments that Britain started Brexit, and right-wing parties in Poland and France were strengthening. Given the number of terrorist attacks in European countries, these sentiments are understandable. The solution could be to increase the birth rate, but so far this is not going well.

The demographic paradox is that fewer children are born in both good and bad times. Now high life expectancy has been added to the low birth rate, and the population of Europe is getting older and smaller. nine0003

The fourth idea. Population decline is also observed in some Asian countries

The Republic of Korea is a prosperous Asian country. After a period of war and poverty, it has built a strong economy and democratic institutions. In its heyday, it was not alone - the rapid development of Japan, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan went down in history under the name of the Pacific Asian Renaissance.

The Korean economy has focused on large technical projects, partly funded by the state - this is how the giants Hyundai, Samsung, Kia and LG were born. nine0003

If in the 1950s Korea was in complete poverty, then in 1988 it hosted the Olympic Games. After the Korean War, medical care improved, the birth rate was about six children per family, which was typical of a rural society, which was very numerous in Korea at the end of the war.

This led to a baby boom when the population doubled from 20 million to 40 million between 1950 and 1988. Young people enthusiastically took to work in the factories fueling the country's economic growth. But the government was frightened by such rapid population growth and decided that birth control was needed in order to reduce it. nine0003

Although the population doubled in 30 years, by the 1980s, the birth rate in Korea was still at replacement level. The policy of lowering the birth rate led to its fall, and today it is a tiny 1.2 against 6 in the 1950s. A high standard of living has extended life expectancy to more than 82 years, and the average aging index is 89. By 2040, there will be three old people for every young person.

Japan is going through similar processes. During the 1950s, when the country was recovering from World War II, Japanese women had an average of three children. Then the number of births declined. In 2005, the birth rate was 1.4. There is almost no influx of fresh blood - Japan is extremely reluctant to grant citizenship to immigrants. Meanwhile, the outflow of people from Japan far exceeds the inflow. nine0003

Mostly young people are leaving, the elderly are staying. There are fewer and fewer women of childbearing age every year. Yes, and they do not seek to give birth - as soon as low birth rates begin to be perceived as the norm, it is almost impossible to reverse this trend in society. Having a child has ceased to be a duty to elders and to society, it is just one way to express yourself, Bricker and Ibbitson believe.

The Japanese government is concerned about the decline in the population and is looking for ways to keep the number above 100 million. But so far these methods have not been found. Young people are pouring into the cities from the countryside, and some villages have become so empty that the old people who are left decorate their yards with mannequins to give the appearance of a human presence. nine0003

In Japan, people retire at 60, the pension is paid depending on the length of service, and after 60 years, workers are honorably seen off without having the right to leave at work. This leads to the fact that the number of able-bodied Japanese is constantly declining. This means that it is becoming increasingly difficult to finance social programs aimed at health care and education.

Society is becoming more and more old, and therefore less and less capable of introducing innovations and technological breakthroughs. In the Republic of Korea, the retirement age has been raised to allow older workers to extend their careers, and this has made it difficult for younger workers to grow at work. nine0003

The same processes of declining fertility, aging society and their consequences are observed in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.

The decline in the birth rate in Japan and Korea is also caused by the fact that Japanese and Korean men do not help their wives either with housework or with children. Knowing that she will have to work, and look after the house, and raise children, a woman does not strive for family life, preferring to live alone. If a woman leaves her job to care for a child, her seniority is interrupted, which makes it difficult to work and have children. nine0003

South Korea, however, has the hope of reuniting with North Korea. In this case, the population will increase by 25 million, and the birth rate in North Korea is higher, according to official data. The problem may be to unite with people who have been isolated from the world for many years and poisoned by propaganda.

Today, Asian governments are struggling with population decline and are trying to encourage the birth rate. Singapore has established a government dating agency, salsa clubs, and the night of August 12 is officially declared National Night, when couples are encouraged to conceive a child. nine0003

In Korea, there are government subsidies for infertile couples, paternity leave, and more. In order to stop workaholism in the workplace, which makes people forget about the family, the lights are turned off at 19.30 at enterprises and institutions so that people rush home. But so far, this has not led to an increase in the birth rate. It is very difficult to stop the process that has begun.

The fifth idea. Future population decline and modern life are closely linked

Many are calm about what will happen in the indefinite future, even decades later. They do not notice that the forces that will lead to the aging and decrease of the population are already affecting us today, since the main trends of decline have already been identified. nine0003

Teenagers in today's world are far less likely to have sexual intercourse than several previous generations.

The first child appears in the family when the parents are already 30 or over 30 years old - usually one or occasionally two. Children take a long time to raise, so couples who become parents at 30 are postponing their retirement. In addition, they have their own parents to take care of, and all this combined - a child, work, elderly parents - takes a lot of energy.

As a result, deaths at 45–55 years of age are not uncommon. And childbirth at 30 is not the limit. Now in Europe and the United States, more and more women give birth at 40 (there are more of them than 20-year-olds who gave birth), and at 50 years old. Late childbirth is one of the main characteristics of the modern world.

The reason for this is the fear that the parents will not have enough resources to raise and support the child. In the average American family, up to 10% of family income goes to a child under five years old, but every year expenses grow along with children. Now we need a bigger house, and a bicycle, not to mention clothes. And also trips to the doctor, paying for circles, textbooks, hobbies and the like. nine0003

By the age of 19, a child will spend about $250,000, and he has not yet managed to enter college. Considering all this, parents limit themselves to the birth of one or two children, and often do not have them at all, considering their resources insufficient for such an important and responsible task. Some are waiting for their income to increase enough to be able to have children. Hence the late delivery.

On the other hand, there is nothing good about early teenage birth. They undermine the health of the mother, children are born with low weight, the mother often cannot find a good job and lives with the child on welfare. School has to be dropped. nine0003

Fortunately, teenagers today give birth much less often than before. In 1990, there were 62 adolescent births per 1,000 births in the United States, today it is only 22 per thousand. The same trend is observed in other countries, European and Asian, in Africa and Oceania.

Today's children already have a good understanding of contraception. Previously, in the United States, teenagers who gave birth to a child very often gave it up for adoption to a childless wealthy couple, but today this almost never happens - the mother prefers to live on welfare. Therefore, Americans began to adopt children from other countries, mainly from China (about 70 thousand babies a year), Russia (about 46 thousand), Guatemala (29thousand), South Korea (20 thousand) and Ethiopia (15 thousand). Then this stream began to dry up.

Russia's relations with the West worsened, and it passed a law prohibiting foreigners from adopting children. China has grown its economy, and is seeking to reverse the effects of the one-child policy by giving up only the severely disabled for adoption. In Canada, the number of people wanting to adopt a child is on the rise, but adoptions fell by 25% from 2008 to 2015. If before the decision on adoption had to wait 18 months, now its period is three years. nine0003

We all live in this, we all experience the same problems, and the choice of one person, multiplied by the choice of the rest, has consequences for everyone, both in the present and in the future, the authors believe.

The vast majority of people choose a small family, if they start a family at all. In a small family, it is easier to raise a child (or two), working mothers partly make up for the labor shortage associated with low childbearing. But small families are unable to fuel the economy - there are too few of them to provide full-fledged consumer demand, and they limit their spending. A reduction in childbearing means a reduction in future taxpayers. nine0003

The sixth idea. Until the middle of the 21st century, in some African countries, both the population and the economy will grow

Then, as life improves, urbanization and women's education, population growth will decline, the authors believe. The United Nations estimates that fertility rates in Africa are high and will remain high for decades to come, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. This population growth will only slow down in the next century and may require large food expenditures. nine0003

But not all African countries are inhabited by uneducated people, women are not free everywhere, and the society is mostly rural. In some countries, the economy is developing at a rapid pace. There were 30 rapidly growing economies in the world in 2016, and half of them were in Africa.

In particular, Kenya's GDP is growing at 6% every year, three times more than in most Western countries, and the trend of economic growth will continue. Since the population is growing rapidly, Africa is doing well with the consumer market. nine0003

By 2050, the population of the African continent will approach 2.6 billion people.

Today, Nigeria has the largest population (182 million), by 2050 the population of Kenya should double, while the total population of Europe will decrease by 4%. In addition, Africa is a young continent, the average age of its inhabitants is 19, while in Europe it is 42, and in the USA it is 35. And the number of young people will be supported due to high birth rates, and where young people are, there is both a consumer market and an economic one. growth, according to the authors. nine0003

Family ties in African countries are very strong, as is tribal loyalty. People don't pin their hopes on their governments, which are mostly corrupt and incompetent. They go to relatives for help, they value the opinion of loved ones.

When family ties are strong, the birth rate rises - the tribe approves of marriage and the birth of children. When, instead of family ties, peers and colleagues have authority, as in European society, the birth rate decreases.

Even when young Africans, in particular Kenyans, leave home to study or work in a new place, the connection with the family is not lost and is constantly maintained. Everyone knows that at any moment they can come to their own for help and support. nine0003

In Kenya no one dies alone, the tribe, clan or village takes care of their own. This community approach continues in large Kenyan corporations, where every employee is taken care of: everyone must collect money in case someone marries, a child is born or a person falls ill, and the money is not symbolic, but substantial.

Over time, the authors believe, Kenya, like other African countries, will gradually move from a kindred and poorly educated society with a high birth rate to modernization and urbanization, when the influence of the tribe weakens, and the influence of the state strengthens. This will slow down the population growth that demographers fear so much. nine0003

In addition, the growth of education, especially among women, has already led to a reduction in the birth rate. In 2003, the birth rate was 4.9 per woman, in 2014 it was already 3.9. Contraceptives are distributed among the population. However, these are high numbers and Kenya's population is still young.

In rural parts of Africa, the birth rate is still high and the standard of living is very low. If the whole of Africa develops like Kenya, the population will not remain poor and starving. And to stop poverty, African women need to be given as many rights as possible and given the opportunity to get an education. nine0003

The seventh idea. Population decline doesn't have to be catastrophic

In the past, there was a demographic pattern where there were many births and many early deaths. In the present, births have decreased, but life expectancy has increased. In the future, the authors are sure, a new model awaits us - depopulation of one's own choice. Does this mean that we are heading towards something terrible? According to the authors, this does not mean that the world will become like a post-apocalyptic film, but it will definitely be different. nine0003

It will get better from an environmental point of view. Exhaust gases will no longer heat the atmosphere, rivers and oceans will not be so polluted. Perhaps in this world, wealth will lose its former meaning. In addition, no forecast is inevitable - it only indicates the main trend, which, with sufficiently energetic efforts of enlightened leaders, can be reversed. The authors emphasize that they only pointed out what is already happening, and believe that this trend cannot be ignored.

Urbanization, the authors believe, is not as bad for the environment as it seems. The lowest per capita carbon emissions in the US are nowhere but in New York City, because expensive parking makes most residents prefer to use the subway.

The same preference for public transport is observed in other major cities. Developing countries are also rapidly urbanizing, which means that large cities will also reduce carbon emissions as rural populations move to cities. nine0003

Rapid urbanization has its drawbacks (overcrowded schools and kindergartens, imperfect infrastructure, poverty and crime), but when cities are densely populated, public transport, water, electricity, and sewerage are provided at a lower cost and less polluting.

It is commonly believed that it is outside the city that the air is cleaner, the land is better, and you can live by eating the fruits of your labors or raising livestock. But it's not. At first, you will have to drive to the nearest city for groceries, and since the roads in the countryside are bad, you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle, which requires a lot of diesel or gasoline. Perhaps one car is not enough if family members have different routes. You will have to go to the doctor to the city. The site must be cultivated so that it is not overgrown with shrubs. The house needs to be heated. nine0003

Most likely, rural areas will soon remain deserted, and they will be planted with trees, leaving separate fields for grain, fruits and vegetables, and covering the rest of the area with forests. When the population decreases, there will be even less agricultural land, which means more forests, which is very beneficial for the environment. Trees produce oxygen and support endangered fauna.

Reducing the population will stop rampant fishing, fewer ships polluting the oceans, fewer industries means less pollution of coastal waters. The authors hope that a child born today or perhaps in 10-20 years will see a cleaner and healthier world. nine0003

But this world will not be free from wars and conflicts, both internal and external. A decrease in the young population and an increase in the elderly will give rise to poverty and discontent, which can result in protests and riots.

When a country is unable to cope with internal turmoil, it often starts external conflicts in an attempt to unite its population. This does not have to happen - it is quite possible that the powers that are dominated by the elderly will show maturity and foresight in maintaining world peace. Less youth means fewer hotheads. nine0003

If the US continues its immigration policy, everything will turn out in their favor. The country will be provided with an influx of fresh blood, new forces, immigration, both legal and not, will strengthen the population. But if changes are made to immigration policy, then the main instrument of the country's prosperity will be lost. But Canada, which consistently supports multiculturalism, is not threatened, the authors believe.

There are reasons to worry that an aging world will be less capable of innovation and creativity. But, on the other hand, urbanization can balance this process - all discoveries, both scientific and creative, were created in cities, not in the countryside. nine0003

Moreover, not the whole world will age in the same way - perhaps the influx of young creative forces will come from Africa or India. But for this you need to be imbued with multiculturalism, so that immigrants do not settle in the ghetto, completely isolated from the indigenous population, but can integrate into society in their new homeland.

Perhaps someday the process of population decline will stop. People will get tired of growing old without children and grandchildren, and they will gradually return to the joy of having and raising children, even if they are in their 40s or 50s.

Population decline need not be synonymous with social decline. But this is what must happen, and we must be ready for it.

The media and authors of books about the future scare readers with the scenarios that await us due to overpopulation - lack of resources, wars, poverty. But what if their authors are deeply mistaken? What if we should not be afraid of overpopulation, but, on the contrary, a significant decrease in it?

The Empty Planet contains many interesting ideas, which sometimes seem controversial and ambiguous, but are no less interesting for that. In general, the book can be taken not as a set of answers, but as food for thought - what if the conventional view of population growth is wrong? What will we do if the population drops significantly? How will this affect consumption and economic development? nine0003

In a world that fears overpopulation, this book by John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker will help many reconsider their views on childbearing, family, lack of resources, migration policy.

Each individual and humanity as a whole determine their own future. The answer to the question of what it will be depends largely on us.

Programs to improve birth control in women after childbirth

Most women in the postpartum period do not use birth control methods as they would like. Adolescents often have re-pregnancies within a year [after giving birth]. In earlier work, we found several randomized trials of postpartum family planning education. Here we looked at other types of studies that have tested (tested) ways to improve birth control after childbirth. We wanted to see if any specific programs were associated with increased use of postpartum family planning methods. nine0003

We conducted a computer search (until November 3, 2014) to identify studies investigating programs to improve family planning for postpartum women. We wrote to the researchers about the missing data. Programs had to provide contacts (relationship) within six weeks after birth. The special program was compared with another (different) program, regular care, or no service/help. Our main outcomes were the use of birth control and pregnancy. nine0003

We found six studies including a total of 5143 women. Of the three studies with pregnancy data, two studies showed fewer pregnancies in the treatment group compared to the control group. Programs in those studies included clinical counseling and community education. All studies showed that the special program was associated with higher birth control. In two studies, more women in the treatment group used modern birth control than in the control group. In another study, women in the treatment group were more likely to take the pill or use an IUD (intrauterine device), and less likely to use the injection method. One study assessed how well a birth control method generally works. The methods in the treatment group were rated higher than those in the control group. The IUD-focused study showed more IUD use in the treatment group and less use in the control group. Women participating in the health care program used birth control more frequently than those participating in the population education program or those receiving standard care. Also, women in the health care group were more likely to use the lactation (breastfeeding) method. nine0003

We believe that the data were of very low quality for pregnancy and birth control outcomes. These studies had problems in design, analysis, and reporting. Some of the studies did not adjust for factors that might influence the results. The studies assessed self-reported outcomes [by women] and used different ways to measure outcomes.

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