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Be wary of excessive emergency contraceptive pill usage, women warned

By
Afedzi Abdullah, GNA

Cape Coast, July 1,
GNA – Women have been cautioned against the repeated use of emergency
contraceptives pills as it could affect their menstrual circle and hamper their
future delivery.

Emergency
contraception, or post-coital contraception, refers to methods of contraception
that could be used to prevent pregnancy in the first few days after unprotected
sexual intercourse.

Health experts have
said contraceptives were not to be taken more than twice in a year but many
young women engaged in unprotected sex and repeatedly take them to prevent
unwanted pregnancy.

Mrs Mavis Narh,
Central Regional Programmes Coordinator of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said
the pills were meant for emergency use only but noted some young girls have
resorted to it as their routine family planning method.

She was speaking at
the quarterly meeting of the Central Regional Technical Working Committee on
Family Panning in Cape Coast.

The meeting, funded by
the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA), was to help them as
stakeholders to monitor, review and discuss family planning activities in the
region.

“The emergency pills
when used as a regular contraceptive, could alter the one’s menstrual cycle and
hamper future delivery” she said.

She said many women
report to hospitals with various complications as a result of the abuse of
these emergency contraceptives hence the need for care to be taken.

Mrs Narh advised young
women to rather access the many available routine Family Planning methods and
report cases of side effects to the health centres instead of resorting to
emergency pills.

She said women who
regularly use the emergency contraceptive were also susceptible to getting
pregnant after having sexual intercourse at a time when they felt they were in
their safe period.

She said there is
there need to intensify family planning education to educate women on the issue
to ensure that they were equipped with the correct information.

Mrs Beatrice Essilfie,
Director of Nursing Services in charge of Public Health at the Regional Heath
Directorate, urged the public to demystify the outmoded socio-cultural barriers
that militate against the use of family planning services.

She said withholding
family planning services was more dangerous than providing it and called on all
stakeholders to intensify their sensitisation programmes to improve family
planning service provision.

Giving an overview of
family planning acceptance in the region, Mrs Essilfie said the region had a
family planning acceptor rate of 29.7 per cent as of 2016 and 15.6 per cent as
of May this year.

She said the GHS in
collaboration with reproductive health stakeholders were helping to establish
Adolescent Health Clubs (AHC) in all Senior High Schools to provide health
services, tailored to the needs of the adolescent.

Members of the
technical working committee said as long as young people remain sexually
active, they would not stop engaging in sex, therefore, there was the need to
make information on reproductive health available.

In this regard, they
encouraged parents and guidance to engage their children on reproductive
health, educate and guide them to make informed decisions about family
planning.

They mentioned
negative perceptions, discriminatory attitudes, lack of trained service
personnel in some family planning methods, lack of education, lack of male
involvement, socio-cultural as well as religious beliefs as some of the major
hindrances to the efforts by stakeholders.

GNA

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