Saturday, September 26, 2020 was World Contraception Day, an event observed at the same time (September 26) every year.
It is supported by the World Health Organisation along with various medical societies and non-governmental organisations around the world and focuses on increasing awareness about the various contraceptive methods and ensuring that young people are able to make an informed choice.
There are a number of types of contraception but condoms are the only ones that can both prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
However, in most of the African cultures including religious beliefs, mentioning the word condom sounds vulgar! And thus, many of the youths either use them in secrecy or don’t use them at all.
Whereas medical practitioners have tried to rally and encourage people to use condoms, their efforts have been dented by such old stone age cultural and religious beliefs.
In the end, countries like Uganda have seen the rate of un wanted pregnancies HIV infections go up.
Recently, one of the Telecom Companies in the country started a campaign dubbed WEAR IT FOR ME. The campaign is intended to reduce on the spread of Coronavirus through the wearing of Face Masks.
The company was though, only adding onto the efforts already made by government, religious leaders, cultural leaders and many more other influencial citizens. And indeed, a number of Ugandans have heed to the calls although there are those that have objected most probably in equal measure.
However, have you ever imagined what would have happened if the same amount of time and effort was put in campaigns encouraging people especially the youths to use condoms during intercourse?
We would have reduced on unwanted pregnancies, HIV infections and definitely un clean and illegal abortions.
Imagine a Catholic priest urging his congregants to use the rubbers wherever applicable in a Sunday Mass service. Or Muslim Cleric doing the same during Juma prayers!
The faithfuls, I want to believe would gladly practice what the man of God has preached and consequently, very few of his ‘sheep’ would die unnecessarily.
In his speech last Sunday, President Museveni said schools would open in October but directed all teachers and children to wear masks in addition to being tested for Covid-19. Suppose the same was done to every sexually active and school going child.
Let’s face it. Our so called innocent girls and boys have and still ‘enjoying’ themselves behind our backs. Unscrupulous men and women have taken advantage of our uncalled for shyness and taught (most of them taught hands on) our children the unimaginable!
And the improvements in technology have done more harm than good too. Kids as young as 10 or even below watch sexually explicit content thanks to their parents’ busy schedules which allow them (kids) to mingle with house helpers and ‘neighbouring well-wishers’ than they do with their biological parents.
Therefore, when they watch such content, their bodies change and brains get corrupted. What happens next? The answer is as easy as reading ABCD. And because little or even nothing about protection has been told to these seemingly young brains,they innocently eat the forbidden fruit without gloves.
Health Unlocked, a social health information provider platform indicates that when used correctly and consistently every time you have sex, condoms (especially for men) are 98% effective. This means 2 out of 100 women will become pregnant in one year when male condoms are used as contraception.
It’s however possible for a condom to slip off during sex. If this happens, you may need emergency contraception and to get checked for STIs, the very reason why education on how to best use them is paramount.
Condoms need to be stored in places that aren’t too hot or cold, and away from sharp or rough surfaces that could tear them or wear them away.
Putting on a condom can be an enjoyable part of sex and doesn’t have to feel like an interruption.
If you’re sensitive to latex, you can use polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms instead.
Unlike face masks which at times can be reused, condoms must not be used more than once. A new condom must be used each time you have sex.
Condoms have a use-by date on the packaging. Don’t use out-of-date condoms.
Always use condoms that have the BSI kite mark and the CE mark on the packet. This means they’ve been tested to high safety standards.
How a condom works
Condoms are a “barrier” method of contraception. They are made of very thin latex (rubber), polyurethane or polyisoprene and are designed to prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm from meeting an egg.
They can also protect against STIs if used correctly during vaginal, anal and oral sex.
Make sure that a man’s penis does not touch a woman’s vagina before a condom has been put on – semen can come out of the penis before a man has fully ejaculated (come).
If this happens, or if semen gets into the vagina while using a condom, you may need emergency contraception. You should also consider having an STI test.
How to use a condom
Take the condom out of the packet, being careful not to tear it with jewellery or fingernails. Do not open the packet with your teeth.
Place the condom over the tip of the erect penis.
If there’s a teat on the end of the condom, use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze the air out of it.
Gently roll the condom down to the base of the penis.
If the condom won’t roll down, you may be holding it the wrong way round. If this happens, it may have sperm on it, so throw it away and try again with a new one.
After sex, withdraw the penis while it’s still erect – hold the condom on at the base of the penis while you do this.
Remove the condom from the penis, being careful not to spill any semen.
Throw the condom away in a bin, not down the toilet.
Make sure the man’s penis does not touch his partner’s genital area again.
If you have sex again, use a new condom.
Additional information by Health Unlocked.