Malaysians Top Concern

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Petaling Jaya, March 3: A recent survey conducted by Alpro Pharmacy found that  unplanned pregnancy is one of the top five concerns amongst women in Malaysia.
However, a quarter  of the 1,300 women respondents do not use any contraception and nearly 50 per cent rely on natural family  planning or the pull-out method.
With the aim to create awareness around the effective birth control  methods, Malaysia’s largest pharmacy chain, Alpro Pharmacy and leading pharmaceutical company in  women’s health, Bayer launched the Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult to empower women in making  educated decisions on family planning.
Both AlproPharmacy and Bayer are part of United Nations Global Compact, and Alpro Birth Control  Teleconsult is a joint initiative that contributes towards Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) three on  Good Health and Well-Being as well as 5 on Gender Equality. 
“Babies are lovely, however, unplanned pregnancy could cause emotional, mental and physical stress  on women. As many are still recovering financially from the prolonged pandemic, coupled with high  cost of living, having a baby requires careful advanced planning.  

Unplanned Pregnancy Is A Top Concern Amongst Malaysian Women.

With the changed role of a modern woman, women need to manage their time for education, career  as well as building a family. Our Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult connects healthcare professionals and  patients remotely and conveniently, providing women with personalised family planning advice on  choosing the right contraceptive methods,” Ph Lim En-Ni, Chief Pharmacist of Alpro Pharmacy, at  the launch of Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult in Petaling Jaya said. 
At the launch event, in advance of the International Women’s Day, Alpro Pharmacy and Bayer held a  roundtable discussion on the subject of Women’s Empowerment and Family Planning with panellists  including Dr Maiza Tusimin, Consultant Obstetrician, Gynecologist & Reproductive Medicine, Ph Lim  En-Ni, Chief Pharmacist of Alpro Pharmacy and Ms Sazzy Falak, Co-Founder of Womentum Life, TV  Presenter/Actress. 
The event was also attended by Ph Lee Yin Chen, Branding, Promotion and Trade Marketing Director  & E-Commerce Lead of Alpro Pharmacy and Yamini Prakash, Country Division Head of Bayer  Pharmaceuticals, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. 
“Bayer has a long history in women’s health and as a leader in hormonal contraception, we have been  supporting family-planning programs for more than 50 years. Besides access to family planning  products, self-determined decisions in reproductive health require contraceptive awareness and  knowledge. Providing women a safe, personal and comfortable environment to obtain accurate  information about their choices in family planning is important to us at Bayer, and going digital is the  way forward. We are delighted to collaborate with Alpro Pharmacy which also shares a similar vision  and mission to positively educate and empower women on family planning,” Yamini Prakash,  Country Division Head, Pharmaceuticals, Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei said.
During the discussion, celebrity Sazzy Falak shared her personal journey as a budding actress awarded  with the Best Supporting Actress at the 19th Malaysian Film Festival the same year she got married  and proper family planning had help her to build her career in TV and movies, business ventures as  well as Womentum Life – an initiative advocated to create awareness of the challenges faced by  women especially on the subjects that is considered as taboo topics among our society. 
“Sex is considered a taboo subject and contraception is not taught in schools. It is important to have  platforms like Alpro Birth Control Teleconsult that give personal attention and professional advice to  those who have questions on how to avoid unplanned pregnancy,”  Falak said. 

Highlights from the Roundtable Discussion 

Benefits of good family planning include: 

Empowering women – Women who can control the number and timing of their  children can take better advantage of educational and economic opportunities,  improving their own future and that of their families. 

Reducing the number of abortions overall, especially unsafe abortion – According to the World Health Organisation, around 45 per cent of all abortion are unsafe, of which 97 per cent  take place in developing countries. Fewer unsafe abortions would lead to fewer  maternal deaths and injuries. 

Improving maternal health and child survival – Helping women avoid becoming  pregnant too early, too late or too often benefits them and their children. 

The survey results also revealed that over 20 per cent of the respondents are likely to use  Emergency Pills (aka the Morning After Pill) as contraception, which its intended usage is  only for backup contraception and not be used as a primary method of birth control. It is not  recommended as an ongoing form of birth control because it’s not as effective at preventing  pregnancy as birth control methods like oral contraceptive and frequent use of emergency  pill may cause periods to become irregular and unpredictable. 

Majority of the survey respondents said they did self-search for information online and  normally only talk to a healthcare professional if they need to look for advice on  contraception. However, women need to be aware of misinformation on the internet and  pharmacies generally have longer operation hours compared to clinics and hospitals.

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