How university students, commercial sex workers misuse contraceptives
Gynaecologists at the Coast have raised the alarm over abuse of contraceptives (morning after pills) among university students and commercial sex workers.
They have said this misuse leads to destruction of the womb and even infertility.
The specialists said seven out of 10 young women are abusing contraceptives in the Coast region.
The Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society Coast Chairman Ramadhan Marjan said many young women and commercial sex workers are using the pills as a form of contraceptive and not for emergency purposes.
Dr Marjan explained that for fear of getting unwanted pregnancies, young women in colleges opt for the pills, not knowing they are endangering their lives.
“They use the pill for the wrong reasons. Majority who have unprotected sex take these pills to cover for their mistakes which definitely prevents one from getting pregnant but cannot stop sexually transmitted infections,” he cautioned.
According to him, a lot of women fear getting pregnant and will do whatever it takes to prevent pregnancies.
Ms Faith Karanja (not her real name), a 22-year-old student from a Mombasa university says she uses the pill every time she engages in sex.
“I cannot say how many I use in a week, it depends on when my boyfriend is around and because he does not like using protection then we opt for the pill,” she said.
She is not the only one regularly abusing morning-after pills. A number of young women take more than two pills in a day depending on the number of times they have sex.
Dr Marjan associated long term use of the contraceptives to depression, ovarian cyst enlargement, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, respiratory disorders, increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and finally death.
The specialist says there is need for learning institutions to educate their students on sex and contraceptives to protect the well-being of the future generations.
“There is need to increase awareness on the work of emergency pills and when they should be used,” Dr Marjan said.
Dr Rukiyah Abdulwahab, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at to the Aga Khan Hospital in Mombasa, said that in a bid to earn more money, sex workers accept to have unprotected sex with their clients then use the pill to prevent them from conceiving.
The specialists added that there are existing misconceptions that using the P2 pills immediately after a sexual encounter prevents one from contracting diseases.
“This is merely a lie. Emergency pills such as P2 do not prevent sexually transmitted infections. They only prevent ovulation hence prevent pregnancies,” said the medic.
The doctor explained that some young women, especially in secondary schools and collegs, use emergency pills to avoid stigma that the whole issue of contraceptive is shrouded in.
“People fear and see the whole idea of asking help from a qualified medical practitioner as humiliating because they will be seen as having have loose morals,” Dr Abdulwahab explained.
The specialists advised sexually active women to visit medical professionals to get advice on long term contraceptive methods to avoid negative reproductive health effects and risking their lives.