The Rise and Rise of Contraceptives

>> Sunday, August 1, 2010

The problems our nation faces today could be termed an endless list – poverty, unemployment, terrorist attacks, dowry deaths, alarming numbers in terms of murders and rapes, population explosion…… and I could go on and on! Talking of population explosion India is in the truly on the verge of a explosion! The problem is big and the numbers are even bigger…1,185,638,998 in 2010 only behind China, a projected 1,807,878,574 in 2050 and a top spot on the World population chart. The numbers are not just alarmingly huge they are worrying.

So we have a problem, let’s face it! However, there are the solutions too and they are for us to see!
Unplanned pregnancies and teenage pregnancies are two things that add enormously to those big census numbers even I struggle to read and put down in words!

“Safe indulgence” is clearly the need of the hour. The options are many – we have the male condoms, a range of easily accessible birth control pills, and what’s more, for the men who don’t like the male condom we even have the female condom now! Saying the public is spoilt for choice would be apt here but important that that choice is made!

Male Condoms
It all started with Deluxe Nirodh in India [not including the Vasectomy campaign by Late Sanjay Gandhi]. It is as old the Indian Birth Control movement, the most widely available condom across the sub-continent and given our sheer numbers the most widely used as well. Years have passed, our population has grown manifold, condom brands both big and small have stormed the market, our slogans and policies have changed but we are yet to witness a slowdown in our surging numbers.

Deluxe Nirodh

Deluxe Nirodh

Deluxe Nirodh














Extra Time






Power your Love



Aastha Pan Flavor


AMG Med-Pro


Green Love











Safe Life



Female Condoms
Finally they have arrived in India and there is curiosity in the air about their usage, effectiveness and the whole concept in general. [Comments Welcome]


Confidom Pleasure Rings







It is considered one of the most effective methods of contraception.
Dunno how it works and don’t intend to find out. [Comments Welcome]

Birth Control Pills
Remember Mala-D, it’s the oldest birth control pill available in India. It is probably as old as some of you reading this blog and still going strong. I still remember the ad jingle ‘Bachhon mein antar ke liye, Jevan mein khushi ke liye, Tum bhi apna lo aaj Mala-D... Mala-D.... Mala-D’.
As our population soared a few other players entered the market but is it enough to contain all 120 crores of us.



The Morning After Pills
Gone are the days when a mistake remained a mistake and you had a girl hang her head in shame (like Preeti Zinta did in the movie Kya Kehna!), walking around with a big stomach and then becoming a mother at the tender age of say 19-20!

Till about 2007 not many people were aware of the numerous contraceptive pills that were available in the market, like the malad and similar, either due to lack of advertising or lack of knowledge of the existence of the miracle pills! Abortions saved the day then and I only hope you get as shocked as me as I present the abortion trend in India over the years... Here it goes – mind boggling but true - 24300 abortions performed in 1972, and then the breathtaking number… 2400000 in 2002. I don’t even want to imagine the numbers in the years that followed!

I’m assuming the above numbers shocked the government as well and that’s when in 2007 they agreed to allow advertising of the contraceptive pills. The idea was simple – to make people aware that such a pill existed and the mantra made sense ‘Why kill when you can avoid conceiving?’
An all so familiar twist in the tale – a mistake that occurs despite all protection and the cure for this mistake - “the morning after pill”. This is the audience that the pill was designed to target. But post mass advertising and easy access over the counters, the manufacturers found some very different takers.

Today, contraception is a rage amongst the teenagers, so much so that methods of contraception are being misused to a large extent. Young girls and boys want to ‘live in the moment’ and ‘not let anything come between them’ and for that they are ready to take any sort of risk they can, even if it means harming their bodies and creating future complications! Marriage is no longer the port of entry for sex, and when the 16 and 17 year olds know that by simply popping a pill they avoid all chances of a pregnancy, then why let an opportunity go by?? After all our parents always taught us to grab every opportunity that comes by with both hands and we obviously need to obey them at least sometimes!

There have been a number of ads that have come out over the past few years, some funny and some seriously depicting the worries of an unplanned pregnancy. What’s worth noticing is:

  1. Most of these ads have married couples as the cast – an indicator of the target audience. Didn’t actually turn out that way though!!
  2. Who talks about the wrongs of a product in an ad? You shouldn’t I agree and following the rules of smart advertising none of them talk about the dangers of using the pills frequently as teenagers do, but doctors believe that rising frequency of intake leads to numerous health problems.
  3. None of them talk about the risk of failure! It’s a 100% success story - at least that’s what they say and is not always true!

The concepts are a little clichéd and don’t involve too much creativity – a married couple worried after their 1st night, a married couple worried over breakfast after a ‘wild night’ etc. They stick to the point and convey the message.

Mistake Pill
This one is hilarious! You can only see it and want to keep wondering how creative the director was. I can watch it 100 times and still be amazed at the comparison.

Pnot Pill

L Pill
On one hand Condom companies are trying to encourage all ages to use condoms and have safe sex, and on the other hand there are ads like these where couples want nothing coning between them - extra marital affairs or condoms!

Today Contraceptives
Let the man get all the pleasure…. I’ll just pop in a pill thinks the woman!Thats why its ‘pasand unki, faisla mera”!

Smart Pill
If you thought that only humans and animals have brains, I’m sorry you are mistaken because there is the ‘akal walli goli’ or the pill with brains!

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