For some, it’s the blowing out of candles on a birthday; for others it’s the opening of presents on Christmas or the dressing up in costume for Purim. For us, however, the greatest holiday tradition is far and away whippin’ out some organic, vagina-safe condoms on World Contraception Day—and of course arming ourselves with knowledge about why this “holiday” exists in the first place. September 26th marks the day each year where we can reflect on the many ways in which widespread contraceptive use remains a challenge.
Perhaps most importantly, this holiday serves as a reminder of a shared global goal: to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted. Sounds like an objective that just about everyone can agree on (or at least you’d think so), and yet, unfortunately, this is quite far from the case. In the U.S., where 48% of pregnancies are unplanned and only 21% of sexually active women use condoms regularly, it seems a reminder of the wonders of contraception—or a robust national sexual education program and better overall availability of contraceptives—is necessary.
In terms of the variety of contraception on the market for sexually active folks, there’s quite a bit. The Pill, IUD’s and other intrauterine systems, male condoms, patches, rings, implants, and injections are all viable options to help prevent pregnancy, though none individually guarantees that a pregnancy will not occur. Aside from preventing pregnancy, contraceptives like the female condom also help to prevent the spread of disease and are useful for folks who run no risk of pregnancy, such as queer women and/or anyone else in a sperm-less sexual relationship. It’s true that approximately 1 in 4 female college freshmen will contract an STD during her first year at school, a truly staggering statistic.
An improved understanding of the importance and functionality of contraceptives is necessary to change the statistics above—and lucky for you all, it’s never been easier to support the improved health of others while supporting your own. Sustain donates 10% of profits to women’s reproductive healthcare organizations in the U.S., just in case you needed another reason to love your eco- and vagina-friendly products. Spread awareness, not diseases! Be safe, have fun, happy World Contraception Day.
Have questions and want to learn more about your options? Head over to the World Contraception Day blog here for more information.
Written by Emma Glassman-Hughes