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This Saturday the world would be celebrating World Contraception Day. This is another day to create awareness about the various form of contraceptives but the truth is there are barriers that prevent an average Nigerian from using contraceptives. Today I’ll rubbish two reasons why we still are the most populous African country and like a pie it would hit you in the face with our irresponsibility when it comes to the choice of contraceptives
What’s number 1?
- The overuse of the post pill: The post pill has become the most dangerous good thing to a sexually active person. t’s almost as commonly used as mint is a to bad breath and an excuse for a man to have sex without a condom or the over glorification of the withdrawal method.
The post pill was made to be an emergency contraceptive not for regular use. A lady is expected to use it just once in a month and in the first 72 hours after having sex to prevent pregnancy. This drug however has been abused with individuals taking it wrongly or more than once in a month and also increasing their risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease. The abuse of this drug would influence menstrual cycle and cause irregular periods.
What’s number 2?
- The lack of information about the various forms : There are different types of contraceptives and each has its advantages and disadvantage. it is the job of anyone who is interested to be able to walk into the family planning clinic to have a prechoice counseling. Contraceptives are divided into Male or Female, Temporary or permanent and also it’s mode of action.
a. Barrier method: They stop the sperm from entering the vagina , condoms (male and female) fall in this category and I would emphasize that it is the only method when used properly that prevents pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
b. Hormonal method: They use the hormones to suppress the possibility of pregnancy, the pills and depo provera injection falls here. The pills have to be taken at the same time everyday for it to work, the injections on the other hand is given once every three months. Both have a 99% efficacy rate if used properly.
c Implants: This is one of the long acting but reversible methods, a small implant is put most times in the upper arm which slowly releases the hormone for up to five years. Also has a 99% efficacy rate, it is the forget and go because once it is put into the body you aren’t following any rules, the implant does its job unaided.
d. Intrauterine device: Another reversible long acting method that lasts between three to ten years. there are two main types of the copper and the hormonal. This involves a mini procedure where the device is inserted into a woman’s uterus.
e. Vasectomy: A male non reversible form that involves surgically cutting and tying the tubes that moves the sperm from where it was produced to the penis. so this means that the man can have an erection but when he ejaculates no sperm comes out.
f. Tubal ligation: A female non reversible form that involves closing or cutting and tying the fallopian tubes to prevent eggs from descending into the uterus for fertilization.
other methods are the calendar method where woman knows her fertile and no fertile days and the withdrawal method which involves the man removing the penis before ejaculation. These methods are prone to human error and have a higher failure rate.
I do understand that the fear of judgement has made many young persons find it difficult to buy condoms or walk into family planning clinics. I do know there are so many other ways like the ‘Find My Method’ with online resources and quizzes on which method might work best for you.
As we celebrate World Contraception Day this week, remember the ABCs of a healthy and safe sexual health.
B Be faithful
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