It's one of The SHAKE Africa Project's favourite days - World Contraception Day! An annual worldwide campaign centred around a vision where every pregnancy is wanted.
History of WCD
The 26th day of September 2020 is another opportunity to celebrate World Contraception Day (WCD). The annual event was launched in 2007 with the vision of a world where every pregnancy is wanted.
Every year, WCD strives to raise awareness of contraception with the aim of empowering young people to make enlightened decisions on their sexual and reproductive health.
Some of the goals of WCD include:
The promotion of family planning
Improving access to preferred contraceptives methods to young persons, women and couples
Empowering young people, especially women, to be able make their own choices concerning when, how many or whether they want to have children.
The essence of WCD
It is imperative for women and young people to be able to make informed decisions on their own about issues of contraception, if we are to achieve the global health goals. Enabling women to choose their own preferred method of contraception will not only help avoid unwanted pregnancies, it will also secure their physical and mental wellbeing with noticeable improvement in the health of entire communities. In addition, it will contribute to population control.
Meaning of Contraception:
Contraception, also called birth control, refers to any method used to prevent or delay pregnancy. It is available in varied forms, so there is a wide array of options to choose from.
Types of Contraception:
There are so many contraception methods that making a decision on which to choose may be a bit confusing. But since you are here and reading this, you are on the path of enlightenment.
Several questions young people ask before making a decision on contraception include:
Which methods prevent STIs?
What is the most convenient contraceptive method?
What is the most effective form of contraception?
These and more are questions that bother young people on the use of contraception. There are also a plethora of myths surrounding contraception. Here are a few:
Myths about Contraception
You already know that at The SHAKE AFRICA Project we loveeee debunking myths so in our usual fashion we're dispelling some myths.
Myth 1: Contraceptives cause cancer.
This is one of the most common myths held about contraceptives. While birth control may increase the risk of certain types of cancer ( breast and cervical cancer), a large percentage of such occurrence is attributed to women who use a triphasic pill with three different hormones dosage.
Also, contrary to popular opinion, birth control may actually lower the risk of some types of cancer like ovarian cancer, endometrial and colorectal cancer.
Myth 2: All Birth control prevent STIs.
Most contraceptive methods do not prevent STIs. Condoms and dental dams are the main methods that do. Whilst they can very effective at doing so, they are less effective at preventing certain types of infection.
For example, HPV and Herpes can even appear on parts of the genitals which are not covered by condoms.
Myth 3: Birth control can ruin your chances of ever being fertile.
Another plain misconception is that a person can become permanently infertile by using birth control, and it will be impossible to return to normal menstrual cycle after getting off hormonal birth control.
Besides sterilisation, it is possible to become pregnant after stopping birth control. Some methods may take more time for the woman to get pregnant again, while others may take months or up to a year. Still, using birth control does not destroy your fertility.
What you need to know.
Awareness of contraceptives, and making them accessible to those with unmet needs, is vital for the promotion of human rights of liberty and freedom. When you decide to use a contraceptive, the most important thing is that you consult a health practitioner to determine which method is best for you based on your medical history.
A lot of misconceptions create unnecessary and baseless fear in women, but choosing the most appropriate birth control is necessary for women who do not want to have a child or do not want to have a child yet.
As we commemorate the World Contraception Day, it is important to know that no matter the misconceptions surrounding birth control, there is no doubt it is essential in promoting the health of women, young people and community in general.
Thanks for reading!
Temitope is the Communications Officer at The SHAKE AFRICA Project and Founder of Empowerher Initiative.