FOR EMERGENCY PURPOSES

Many youths don’t understand the uses of morning after pill

Long and continued use can cause shift in hormonal imbalance

In Summary

• Doctors’ advice that emergency pills, as they are called, should be used within a specific period after sexual intercourse. 

• Many young girls without awareness use the emergency pill to prevent HIV infections and as a contraceptive. 

A packet of Postinor pills that retails for between Sh150 and Sh200
CREATE AWARENESS: A packet of Postinor pills that retails for between Sh150 and Sh200
Image: COURTESY

Many young people are using emergency pills for the wrong reasons.

It’s no longer an emergency pill but a form of contraceptive. Away from medical advice and due to myths and misconceptions, young girls are using emergency pills believing it will prevent unintended pregnancy with continued use.

Doctors’ advice is that emergency pills, as they are called, should be used within a specific period after sexual intercourse to prevent unintended pregnancy. However, girls use these pills at their own volition.

Myths and misconceptions about using emergency pills have also misled girls into being infected with HIV. These girls use emergency pills as a pre-exposure treatment to HIV. Girls use emergency pills after having sex believing they will not get HIV.

There is a need for increased awareness on the work of emergency pills and when they should be used. For instance, emergency pills such as P2 do not prevent sexually transmitted infections; they only prevent ovulation hence preventing pregnancy. It can cause a shift in the ovulation cycle and using more than a tablet once can destroy the womb and cause infertility in the long run.

It also causes hormonal imbalance and a change in the menstrual cycle leading to irregular menstrual periods or a whole shift in the cycle. It can also easily cause ectopic pregnancy. Women should visit a medical practitioner for advice on the long term contraceptive method to use to avoid these reproductive effects.

Awareness of the use of emergency pills will, therefore, reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy related to myths and misconceptions. It will also reduce cases of HIV infections as the youth will be more careful knowing the pill won’t prevent STIs.

 

Naya Kenya, Nairobi