by Martin Tairo
Published on: Jun 6, 2005
Type: Opinions

The morning-after pill is a multiple dose of an oral contraceptive. It may prevent ovulation or, if fertilization has occurred, it may ruin the implantation of a newly conceived human being. It is important that the potential for post-fertilization effects be communicated to patients and health-care providers, as many consider human life to be present and valuable from the moment of fertilization.

“Manufacturers have reduced the hormone content of oral contraceptives due to serious side effects and health risks. Now women are being encouraged to use these same pills, in multiple doses, as post-coital "contraception." The potential long-term impact of these high hormone doses, especially when used repeatedly, is worrisome and not being adequately addressed. The potential effect of the drug on children who survive is also a cause for concern.

The policy to make the morning-after-pill available without a doctor's prescription puts women and girls at higher risk for disease and sexual health problems. Physical and clinical examinations by a physician are essential to good healthcare: to counsel patients and determine sexually transmitted diseases, abusive relationships and related health issues.” (Post fertilization Effect of Hormonal Emergency Contraception by Chris Kahlenborn, Joseph B Stanford, and Walter L Larimore)

I personally have no knowledge of any existing dreadful side effects of morning after pills that can directly cause death of the user. But I surely can tell you why they are the cause of many deaths occurring today. These pills that are easily available, without prescription, over the counters of many pharmacies are the in mode that teenagers use to avert unwanted pregnancies. I have posed questions to medics in the gaenacology field on the dangers of the pills due to frequent use. My study revealed that these pills are to be used as emergencies where other forms of contraception and protection e.g. birth control pills and condoms have failed. Shocking was the fact that using the pills more than twice in one menstrual cycle has hazardous consequences ranging from complete loss of fertility to unstable pregnancies.

Working with a pharmacist at the vicinity of The University of Nairobi’s main campus residential units for the students, we established the patterns of sale of a popular morning after pill. Sales were low during the week especially from Tuesdays to Fridays but they shoot by up to ten times on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. This is when the university students are in session. During school holidays for high school students, the daily sales throughout the week rise, though with a relatively lower margin compared to the change from weekdays to weekends. They stabilize at that level until the school holidays are over after about one month.

These textual statistics above do not only show us the pattern that the sales of these pills take but also show us the patterns at which the youth, in particular university and high school students in the region are having sexual intercourse.

A worrying message passed by the statistics too is that these students are not only having sex. They are carrying on a dangerous and suicidal act of unprotected sex and their only fear is pregnancy and that’s the reason behind the pattern of sales of these pills. What of any other deadly diseases that are spread through unprotected sex? Though I have no statistical evidence, I can logically state with authority that Morning After pills are responsible for a large number of HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections’ cases.

It is time that we examined the impact that the ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful and use of Condoms) campaign has on people. We should preach the merits of proper values and responsible sex to avert the catastrophe that maybe as a result of our sheer ignorance.

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