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Damilola Ogunrinde: Avoiding Pregnancy 101

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dreamstime_s_55581142When I wrote an article on STIs a few weeks ago, some of my friends were upset. They did not want to be reminded of the dire consequences that arise from unprotected sex, yet they were surprised to learn of the increasing rate of STI’s and sexually transmitted cancers. {Click here if you missed it}

However, I am aware that many Nigerians  say they only have sex for procreation. I know that we are all Bible believing Christians, Qur’an reading Muslims and Chaste Agnostics. I know we all value abstinence and chastity. I have written this article so that we can share it to those in need of family planning advice.  Because let us face it, contraception is not just for those married couples who don’t want any more babies. It is also for the young who are not ready for children.

Abstinence is great, chastity is excellent, virgins abound in more numbers than I realised, but everyone still needs advice on contraception. Because virgins will not be virgins forever, and family planning is necessary especially with the current foreign exchange situation. I searched for the best ways to reduce unwanted pregnancies, and this is what I found.

I can not praise the inventor of condoms enough. When there is a raincoat available in the storm, why not use it? What happens when you don’t use a raincoat? You catch all kinds of things: pneumonia, catarrh, fever, wet clothes, ruined makeup, all sorts of orishirishi. Condoms have the added benefit of protecting from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. Yes, they break, but that is where your backup plan comes in. Remember, no glove no love. This segment refers to male condoms mostly; female condoms are not so widely used. Even for the married couples, you may trust your partner, but does your partner trust their partner?
For use by men mostly. Success rate=  89%

The morning after pill
Trust scientists, I mean really. Someone woke up one morning and thought to himself, “why don’t I create an alternative to douching with vinegar, spraying spermicide and eating ten ata rodos?” Enter the morning after pill; one tablet is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, and you are ready to go. Beware; if you get sick after taking the pill speak to your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure you get tested, you don’t know what ‘brother’ was carrying in secret the night before. The problem with this is that it can only be used after the fact and is not a reliable protection mechanism.
For use by women only. Success rate= 89%

The contraceptive pill
There are too many of this particular variety. Pharmaceutical companies have mixed a combination of hormones to come up with the one that best suits any given female, depending on her weight, smoking status, and health history. Routinely oestrogen, progesterone or a combination of the two. These have been tried and tested, but come with some added side effects, but what doesn’t? If you are superwoman and would remember to take your pill every day, even on days without a happy ending, then this is for you. If you are forgetful, please move to the next chapter.
For use by women only. Success rate = 92-97%

Intrauterine devices, implants, and depots 
These are termed long-acting reversible contraception, and to be fair, they do just that. They work, you don’t have to remember to take them in the morning, or keep them hidden in your wallet, because once they’re in, they stay there. The myth that using contraception will make you infertile is just that, a myth. This group of contraceptives is ideal for any sexually active woman with a busy lifestyle.
For use by women only. Success rate= 99.2 – 99.9%

Yes, I said it, if you are sure your family is complete, women can have their Fallopian tubes ligated, and men can have a vasectomy too. The female procedure in a bit more invasive, while men can walk into a clinic and have the cut in a matter of minutes. Sterilisation is a good choice for the discerning committed couple. Reversibility is an issue, though, so make sure you are ready for no more children.
For both Male and female use. Success rate = 99.5%

Success rate =100%. Compliance rate = dependent on kongi at any given time

There it is, a whistle-stop tour of the world’s most loved contraceptives. Most of them are for female use, does that say anything about choice in pregnancy? Notice how most of them protect from pregnancy but not sexually transmitted infections? That is where condoms come in. There are several other methods I have not listed today such as withdrawal, diaphragms, patches and vaginal rings. If you use any one of them, please share your experience below? Have you found easy access to contraceptives in your local pharmacy or clinic? Do you advocate the use of contraception? Do you believe family planning is for married couples only? Do you think abstinence is the only way to reduce the sexual disease havoc we have on our hands today?

Please leave a comment or two below.

Until next time. You know Dami loves to chat.

Facts and figures obtained from the American Sexual Health Association fact sheet

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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