Young girls on contraceptives

It is quite disturbing that early sexual debut and premarital sex are increasingly common features of the female adolescent in Kenya. The number of girls aged under 15 who are on contraceptives is high. Not only that, but also that unprotected sex is still common despite statistics having it that the level of knowledge concerning the value of using protective devices being high.

We may want to urge that girls are at risk of unwanted pregnancy what about infection of STI and HIV/AIDS as well as gynecological complications that result from prolonged use, misuse or abuse of contraceptives?

Unprotected adolescent sexual activity has significantly contributed to the rapid population growth, high birth rates, and escalating rates of HIV infection.  It is alarming that over time, HIV infection has shifted to younger segments of the population, that is, among those 15 to 24 years-old and among married couples. Is it that they are considering use of contraceptives than protected sex?

Research has it that STDs have a particularly large impact on young women who are more easily infected than older women and who, compared to men, are more frequently asymptomatic, more difficult to diagnose, and suffer more serious and long-term complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. This research further indicates that in Nairobi up to 90% of female commercial sex workers are HIV positive, and adolescent males are often clients of commercial sex workers. If our young girls are on contraceptives and sometimes engage in unprotected sex with these adolescent males you can just imagine the mess.

I agree that teaching teenagers about sexual health and contraception is very important. There is need to provide not only sexuality education but also life skills development to enable them behave responsibly and take control of their actions. We also need to do a re-evaluation of our peer education programs. To take care of peer pressure, we need to increase the number of peer educators and sufficiently equip them, because they will significantly increase knowledge, attitude change and self-efficacy among teenagers. Peer education may be most effective among secondary school students as this is where influence on use of contraceptives is greatest.

What is your take?

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8 responses to this post.

  1. I agree with you full on this topic. there is this perception that when people are in serious relationships they can do without protection hence make use of contraception. Apart from contracting HIV overuse of contraception might affect them in future ( Please write a piece on the the effects of contraception). A word to our brothers and sisters out there, if someone really loves you use protection because one second of it will change the rest of your life since things will never be the same. Hope to get more educative pieces like this one.

    Reply

  2. This is one societal problem that i think has been silently hitting families and admittably a big parenting challlenge. Early sexual engagement and use of contraceptives even further complicates the social equation as the young adults/teenagers run to any immediate remedy to stop pregnancies unaware of the side effects and dangers that they are exposed to over time.

    I think there is need to control the distribution of contraceptives, introduce a curbing statement and control measure like that of alcohol not being sold to people under 18.

    Secondly, parents should start talking about this topic openly before kids get spoiled and its too late to save the situation. Absentee mums and dads should be punished and they should not complain when their sons or daughter get messed up but should instead take the principal responsibility of guiding their children on some of these crucial health matters.

    Education as my third point is key. As you have rightly put it , this should be entrenched both at higher levels of primary and more emphasis in secondary schools to take care of the peer pressures.

    A good topic to further research, but as well shocking

    Reply

  3. This is one societal problem that i think has been silently hitting families and admittably a big parenting challlenge. Early sexual engagement and use of contraceptives even further complicates the social equation as the young adults/teenagers run to any immediate remedy to stop pregnancies unaware of the side effects and dangers that they are exposed to over time.

    I think there is need to control the distribution of contraceptives, introduce a curbing statement and control measure like that of alcohol not being sold to people under 18.

    Secondly, parents should start talking about this topic openly before kids get spoiled and its too late to save the situation. Absentee mums and dads should be punished and they should not complain when their sons or daughter get messed up but should instead take the principal responsibility of guiding their children on some of these crucial health matters.

    Education as my third point is key. As you have rightly put it , this should be entrenched both at higher levels of primary and more emphasis in secondary schools to take care of the peer pressures.

    A good topic to further research, but as well shocking

    Reply

  4. Posted by Mary on March 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Adolescents engaging in premarital sex is indeed a very sad scenario. It shows that as a society our moral values are deteriorating day by day.

    I agree with you that sex education should come from parents and should be wholesome and timely before the children get educated by media and peers. Ignoring this menace will not make it disappear so parents should start educating their teens as early as 8 years old instead of getting shocked that their children are on contraceptives. Parents should also befriend their adolescents and know what is happening in their lives, what issues or challenges are they going through. They should also monitor them, set boundaries and know who their friends are. After all has been done, they can only pray and pray more.

    As for those teenagers that are already actively involved in premarital sex, behavior change may come in handy. This will entails a lot of psycho-education. Changing the environment e.g. school or estate may be necessary.

    More should be done on this topic before we loose our future generation.

    Reply

    • Thanks for your comment! One thing comes out clearly from the comments that parents should be actively involved in the lives of their children in order to give them direction.
      BOUNDARIES… Mmh quite something…

      Reply

  5. I agree with you. As parents we really have a job to do. There is need of control on contraceptives just as there is control on alcohol and other drugs or else there will be no future for the parents to be.

    Reply

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