TRICHY: About 40 per cent of youngsters are pre-maritally exposed to sex while the rate of pre-marital pregnancy among women, especially in rural areas, is alarming, said noted gynaecologist Dr T Ramani Devi.
She was speaking about the merits of pre-marital counselling at the inauguration of family and adolescent counselling centre at department of women’s studies of Bharathidasan University on Thursday.
According to her, a majority of young women had no idea about planned pregnancy including the basic vaccination they must take before pregnancy to avoid complications. She demonstrated this by asking the female students gathered at the function and finding that none could answer.
Apart from Rubella and HPV vaccines which would protect the child from abnormalities and the mother from cancer, she said that folic acid tablets should be taken prior to pregnancy to prevent anaemia. By taking these measures, maternal complications could be prevented up to 50 per cent.
Claiming that maternal mortality rate had come down considerably in Trichy, Dr Devi said it had fallen below 70 per lakh women in the state which was far below the national average of 320 per lakh women. While government has been taking initiatives to check iron deficiency among adolescent girls and pregnant woman, misconceptions have been a setback, she said.
Dr Devi pointed out that the number of obese people had gone up from a mere 4 per cent as per 1991 data to 40 per cent according to 2010 figures. Tendency for hyperthyroidism had increased in recent times which affected the intelligence of the child if mother had it during pregnancy.
Department of women’s studies chief N Manimegalai said that families and adolescent could get counselling free of cost at the centre. Speaking at the gathering, BDU Vice-Chancellor V M Muthu Kumar batted for establishing such counselling centres in the light of joint family system giving way to nuclear families.