THE TRUTH BEHIND COMMON CONTRACEPTIVE MYTHS
Giving birth can be one of the most exciting, yet scariest things to happen to a person. To ensure you take control of your future, it’s best that you distinguish facts from myths from fiction when it comes to contraceptives.
Let’s get started.
- ONLY IMMORAL GIRLS USE CONTRACEPTIVES
To begin with, there are those who think or may perceive girls who use contraceptives to be immoral. However, would you prefer to take control of your future or wing it? In most cases, the latter would be advisable. Regardless, certain people will argue from a religious bearing while others from a cultural belief for the former. According to a survey taken by the Kenya Demographic Institute and a Health Survey held in 2014, it was revealed that a significant number of Kenyans aged between 15 and 18 years were engaging in sexual practices, with most of them having insufficient knowledge about HIV transmission and prevention. Considering the dire state of things, it is probably high time we educate our girls about the C-word.
The following facts are meant to debunk all of the myths surrounding contraceptives and those who use it.
- Girls and young women who get pregnant at an early age are particularly prone to a variety of problems during birth. The use of contraception allows them to put off having children until their bodies are fully capable of supporting a pregnancy.
- The use of contraceptives allows girls to avoid the need of undergoing unsafe abortions.
- Through the use of contraceptives, both girls and young women are able to finish their education and pursue their careers without having to worry about getting pregnant.
- Use of contraceptives also means safer sexual interactions for all parties involved.
- IF YOU ARE USING CONTRACEPTIVES YOU MAY NEVER CONCEIVE.
One of the questions regularly posed to us is whether or not the use of contraceptives may hurt one’s chances of getting pregnant in the future. A simple and definite answer to this is NO.
Most doctors agree that contraceptives don’t alter fertility, but can in some women cause them to take a longer time to conceive. Women under 30 years old are very fertile. Their ability to get pregnant is at its peak during this stage of their lives. In Kenya, about three in four sexually active women under 30 are using some type of contraceptive.
Short-term methods can help prevent pregnancy, but none of them will have long-lasting effects on your ability to conceive when you stop. That’s why SOME women who use the Pill but accidentally forget to take it for a few days can get pregnant that month.
- EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION CAN ONLY BE USED IN “the morning after” HAVING UNPROTECTED SEX
Emergency contraception is often known as the ‘morning after pill’ or ‘E-pill’, but this is not a very helpful or accurate term. The emergency contraceptive pill is usually effective for up to three days after having unprotected sex. You can access the emergency contraceptive pills from clinics, youth friendly organizations, and pharmacies.
Also, did you know a copper IUD is very effective as an emergency contraceptive if inserted up to five days after unprotected sex? It has the advantage that if the woman chooses, the copper IUD can give her highly effective contraception for five years or more.
- CONTRACEPTIVES MAKES YOU PUT ON WEIGHT
Weight gain due to use of contraceptives is still a persistent myth that states women on the pill or those using another form of hormonal contraception tend to gain weight. In most cases, weight gain is as a result of your diet. Research shows that women using the hormonal contraceptives are less likely to gain weight than women using contraception without hormones.
Short-term methods such as Depo-Provera (Injection) may be associated with an increase in weight for some women. In the case of significant weight increase, women are advised to exercise and eat less processed foods.
Contraceptives if used well have more benefits compared to disadvantages. 😉
By: Mercy Munyao