Dr Uma Ram: Access to contraception is basic human right

Dr Uma Ram, Chennai-based obstetrician and gynaecologist

According to data from the National Family Health Survey-5, nearly 20% of men aged 15-49 think women who use contraception might be “promiscuous”. This reflects how urgently social norms and stigmas surrounding women’s reproductive health must be addressed.

As per a Monster Salary Index (MSI) survey, there is still a significant need for contraceptive services in India, with 35 per cent of women indicating a need for timely contraceptive counselling.

In most Indian cities, buying the i-Pill, a morning-after pill, is a terrifying experience, particularly for  unmarried women, because of ‘moral policing’ and an incorrect perception of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs). 

Condoms, on the other hand, are widely advertised, and simple to find. The patriarchal system, which gives men the right to enjoy sex without any “barriers”, is the cause of the problem.


Senior obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Uma Ram speaks with The Federal about the importance of providing young, single women with quick access to emergency contraceptives and the need to prioritise women’s reproductive care.

Further, she cautions that the i-Pill should be used only in cases of an emergency and not as a substitute for regular contraception.