When it comes to birth control, women of Vietnam tend to be more open than women in other areas. Yet, despite this openness, they remain relatively ignorant about the topic. In a survey carried out in Hanoi in July, 2020, only 31 percent of women knew that IUDs are the most widely used form of birth control. The research, carried out in the densely populated Vietnam city of Hanoi, involved four different forms of birth control: IUDs (birth control intra-uterine devices), Depo-Provera, contraceptive patches and Depo-Provera shots. Sadly, just 31 percent of respondents correctly identified IUDs as the best method.

It is not surprising that the lack of awareness is so widespread. After all, when people do not have access to information they consider useless, they tend not to take the actions that would make them aware of options. This means that attitudes about birth control often reflect ignorance rather than information. For example, a survey carried out in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in August 1996 asked people how much they understood the term “clips.” Less than half the survey participants knew what the term meant.

Lack of awareness also leads to poor utilization of birth control. Many women use birth control regularly but still fail to prevent pregnancy. Lack of knowledge prevents them from getting regular medical checkups and thus they are at higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Worse still, some women go for months without getting pregnant while they are still waiting for their hormones to balance out.

This is where comprehensive sex education comes in. Through such programs, women will gain knowledge about birth control options, including the method that works best for their individual situation. Some examples include natural fertility awareness methods such as acupuncture and yoga, or the use of pharmaceutical-based birth control methods such as condoms, spermicides, and hormonal pills. There are also other examples such as intrauterine devices, vacuum therapy, and vasectomy.

The downside of relying on these types of birth control methods is that they tend to work slowly and steadily. This can take years before effects become noticeable. Moreover, these methods often have severe side effects that can put both the woman and her partner at risk. These side effects can prevent women from experiencing arousal and pleasurable sexual moments and can also lead to sexually transmitted infections. To minimize the risks involved with using these contraceptive methods, women are encouraged to go for annual checkups with their gynecologists.

Emergency contraception, on the other hand, is another one of the most popular birth control options. The pill contains estrogen-like substances that prevent pregnancy from occurring. Because the pill is taken up to three days before the woman intends to get pregnant, it has the ability to prevent fertilization from taking place. This makes it one of the easiest and fastest methods for preventing pregnancy.