Youth and Contraception

What is contraception? Are youths eligible to use contraception? Contraception also is known as birth control prevents pregnancy by interfering with the normal process of ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. There are different kinds of birth control ranging from barrier methods to hormonal and non-hormonal methods and that act at different points in the process. Millennial development goal 5 calls for universal access to reproductive and sexual health including family planning services and information. Therefore, contraception is a basic human right and all youths of reproductive age are eligible to have access to any form of contraception.

To start with, Kenya is determined to ensure universal health coverage to all cadres which include ensuring health services are accessible, available and are affordable to all people.  Well, the usage of contraception by youths is an issue that has been there for decades in most middle and low-income countries, Kenya being one of them. This is mostly attributed to the societal perception that contraception is only supposed to be available and accessible to only married couples. The majority of the youth fear to access contraception from health facilities due to the fear of being judged and discriminated against to the fact that they have no families, but yet they are sexually active. This a great worry because it is only in the health facility where they can interact with qualified who can educate them on the available contraception methods, usage, indications, and contraindications. They end up acquiring wrong misleading information from their peers and from the internet.

Most of them end up acquiring them (contraception) from private pharmacies while those who can’t afford to end up falling into the traps of unintended pregnancies, contraction of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. The menace of unintended pregnancies leads to procuring unsafe abortions whereby most of them are done in back street clinics hence increasing the incidence of maternal mortality and morbidity due to the impending abortion complications.

Therefore, a lot needs to be done. The parents need to talk to their children on sexuality and safe sex at an early age since majority of the parents don’t know when their children become sexually active, creating awareness on the availability and usage of contraception among the youths since this will reduce the prevalence of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions as well as contraction of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.

 

kamanthe kyalo

N.O Intern,

Machakos level 5 hospital

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