Contraceptive sales dive amid Covid-19 in Chandigarh

Chandigarh, Sep 17 (IANS) Nothing virtually comes in between the couples in the days of strict physical distancing in the City Beautiful to limit coronavirus spread that is taking toll on their ‘number of intimate occasions’.

Market trends show the sale of condoms, or any contraceptive, have slipped down the charts of necessity up to 75 per cent in many markets of the city.

However, no one can really say whether it’s because of fear of intimacy, or the virus is having a toll on the number of intimate occasions in Chandigarh, but the sale of contraceptives has dipped.

“The condom sales were going through the roof in mid of March when people were stockpiling groceries and essentials amidst fears of long Covid-19 lockdowns,” chemist Ramesh Singla, who owns a shop in posh Sector 15, told IANS.

He said at that time the people were buying condoms, or any contraceptive, in excess.

“At present, many pharmacy retailers have seen just a sale of two to three packs of condoms over the counter against the normal sale of 15-20 packs in a day,” he said.

Observing a similar trend, Chandigarh Chemist Association General Secretary Vinay Jain, who also owns a pharmacy in Sector 15, the hub of educational and coaching institutes, said the current sale of contraceptive pills, emergency pills and pregnancy testing kits, besides condoms, is down notably.

Buying a condom or a contraceptive is not considered taboo anymore.

Even women don’t shy away from buying contraceptives.

“Our customers comprise many housewives and young women who are regularly asking for emergency contraceptive pills and condoms. Now there is a fall of 75 per cent sale of contraceptives, may be people are unable to have as much sex because of the strict physical distancing amid Covid fears,” Jain added.

Market experts cite other reasons for the decline in sales.

It may be the curtailed market movement of the couples or feeling shy to order home delivery along with groceries for those living with parents.

“Our society is still conservative on using contraceptives. The couples who are staying with their parents are not open to get the contraceptives delivered at their doorstep,” a leading city-based gynecologist, who didn’t wish to be quoted, told IANS.

She said since the long restrictions on public movement and fear of contracting coronavirus at public places kept the couples away from the pharmacies, this trend might lead to an upward trend of unwanted pregnancies and possibly unsafe abortions.

However, stockists expect the demand for contraceptive to recover with the lockdown ends.

“A large segment of the clientele of contraceptive, especially the emergency morning-after pills, is the youngsters who are staying in paying guesthouses and rented accommodations,” said a pharmacy owner in Sector 11.

“After the closure of education institutes in March-end owing to the lockdown, a major chunk of students moved to their hometowns. This leads to low levels of socialisation that subsequently impacting our sales,” he said, adding “Love will return in the post-corona”.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

–IANS

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