Permanent birth control by women drops 50 percent


Oral contraceptives. PHOTO | FILE

The number of women seeking permanent birth control procedures in Kenya dropped by half last year, with most opting for monthly hormonal injections, implants, and daily pills to prevent pregnancies.

The freshly released Economic Survey 2021 report shows that 4,435 women underwent Bilateral Tubal Ligation (BTL) procedures in 2020 — a sharp drop from 8,971 the previous year.

BTL is a surgical procedure that involves blocking the fallopian tubes to prevent the ovum (egg) from being fertilised.

A similar trend was recorded among males turning up for vasectomy-another method of permanent contraception. Data shows that 334 males underwent vasectomy in 2020, down from 658 the previous year.

“Permanent family planning methods recorded low uptake with the number of females undergoing Sterilization Tubal Ligation decreasing to 4,435 while male Sterilization Vasectomy recorded 334 clients during the review period,” the report said.

Family Planning (FP) Injections was the most popular method of contraception with 2.3 million clients, of which 616,529 were new users.

It was followed by Pills Combined Oral Contraceptive, which had 681,600 clients, of which 249,637 were new clients.

The number of women opting for the coil dropped 37 percent or by 92,380 to 160,128 in the period under review.

“There was a general decline in the uptake of modern contraceptive methods, except for pills which increased,” notes the KNBS in the 2021 Economic Survey.

late marriages

Kenya’s population growth rate has been slowing down over the years as family planning takes root amid higher literacy levels, particularly among women and late marriages.

The country registered the slowest population growth rate since independence at 2.2 percent to 47.56 million, according to the latest official data.

The data shows Kenya’s household size shrink to 3.9 from 5.1 recorded a decade ago, suggesting households on average are having one child less compared to to years ago.

A United Nations Population Fund report showed Kenya had the least fertility rate in East Africa at 3.65. This contrasts with Tanzania and Uganda at 4.6 and 4.95 respectively.