The FINANCIAL — The latest data of the National Statistics Office of Georgia shows that import of condoms is doubling per annum in Georgia. The demand for condoms in Georgia significantly increases during rainy days, a private observation that Georgian pharmacists revealed.
The FINANCIAL — The latest data of the National Statistics Office of Georgia shows that import of condoms is doubling per annum in Georgia. The demand for condoms in Georgia significantly increases during rainy days, a private observation that Georgian pharmacists revealed. The economic downturn has also been a bestselling period for the leading condom producing companies. Many couples are taking more precautions because they cannot risk the financial burden of more children.
The total amount of investment in import increased from USD 308,700 to USD 547,500 in the nine months of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011. The number of imported condoms was 30 tons in the three quarters of the current year, while in 2011 it was 14.5 tons.
Condoms are imported from over ten countries, including: Germany, China, Armenia, Russia, Turkey, the USA, France and Malaysia.
The unconditional leader for 2011 and 2012 was Germany with investments of USD 219.2 and 164.1 thousand in 2011. The two year comparison showed that in 2012 the largest reduction was from China. The volume of condoms imported from there has decreased by more than ten times. In 2011 the investment volume reached USD 72,000 and this year – USD 6,800.
Condoms are sold at all main supermarkets and drugstores. Their price varies from GEL 1 to USD 3 per piece. Chinese condoms cost GEL 0.5 per piece.
“A condom is a mean of contraception. Besides its function as a barrier device it reduces the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. It is the most widespread contraceptive among Georgians,” Archil Khomasuridze, head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology division at Tbilisi State Medical University, told The FINANCIAL.
Khomasuridze said that out of the various sorts of contraceptives, prices of condoms in Georgia are high. “They are sold by pharmaceutical shops, so the companies list high prices for condoms the same as they do for every other medicament.”
Condoms are sold under several names and of different qualities in Georgian pharmacy chains. PSP says that they sell about 70,000-80,000 condoms during three month, one quarter, of the year. The most popular brand in the pharmacy chain is Masculan. Out of the 80,000 condoms sold, almost 60,000 are Masculan.
Sales of contraceptives have significant increased in Georgia during recent years, next to condoms. Those who are sexually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they and their partners fail to use a contraceptive method, are at risk of unintended pregnancy.
A big share of all pregnancies in Georgia used to be unintended previously. The majority of unintended pregnancies end in abortion.
Khomasuridze said that he was the first person who imported contraceptives in Georgia. “I brought contraband contraceptives in to the country in the ‘90s. Over the past twenty years the Zhordania Institute have been distributing the drugs for free. Now selling contraceptives has become part of the business for pharmacies,” Khomasuridze said. “According to research in 1987 no families used contraceptives in Georgia. Abortion was the only means of birth control. 100,000 abortions were officially registered when the population approached about 5 million people. Non-officially, in total about 300,000 abortions were done in Georgia. Nowadays, the number of abortions is at about 30,000. As for the use of contraceptives, it has jumped to 65 percent from zero,” he added.
Despite the fact that 65 percent of people use contraceptives, doctors say that the frequency of sexually transmitted infections has not decreased.
Khomasuridze said that using contraceptives has reduced the number of abortions and most abortionists have lost their jobs and income. “Doing abortions is no longer a profitable business in Georgia. Gynaecology used to be a very competitive profession as people made lots of money from doing abortions. The Zhordania Institute has already refused to perform abortions and I think that in three years’ time there will be no abortions being done in Georgia,” he added.
Abortion is allowed by Georgian law during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), since 1973, roughly 50 million legal induced abortions have been performed in the United States. Worldwide, there have been over 1,260,000,000 abortions performed.
A ‘mini abortion’ costs GEL 100 in Georgia. As for a ‘medication abortion’, it costs GEL 147. Through the use of a drug, a medication abortion first causes the pregnancy to terminate and then causes the uterus to expel the products of conception.
“The positive side of using contraceptives is that this is the prevention of abortion. It is one of the methods of birth control,” said Ani Jinjikhadze, gynaecologist. “Birth control means that parents themselves plan for when they want to give birth to a child. They plan their family. Using contraceptives is not connected to demographic problems. In the case of unplanned pregnancy a woman will have an abortion anyway,” she added.
“There are a lot of contraceptive options available. It is up to the patient’s doctor to choose the one that best suits the individual woman and her circumstances. Doctors usually prescribe birth control pills. There is no bad contraceptive. There are only unsuitable contraceptives. The frequency of taking the pills depends on how often a couple has conjugal relations,” Khomasuridze added.
Nino Belkania has been taking contraceptive pills every day for two years already. She said that the pills do not have any side effects or negative effects on her. “The only thing I’ve experienced is an increased appetite. But my doctor explained to me that only overeating makes people fat. So I watch my diet,” Belkania said. “I have two sons and the youngest one is only two years old. I do not want to give birth to a third child until my son is out of kindergarten. That is why I use contraceptives, to control the birth of my children,” she added.
Recent research of the Guttmacher Institute revealed another reason why women decide to use contraceptives.
For their research, the Guttmacher Institute surveyed 2,094 women on how birth control affects their lives. What they found was as follows: 63 percent of women said that using contraceptives allows them to take better care of themselves or their family, 56 percent said it helps them support themselves financially, and about 50 percent said it allowed them to complete their education or keep or get a job.