These are very unprecedented times. We are no longer dealing with the same challenges as we were before. Times where we knew how not to spread HIV/AIDS or at least contain it. We could easily treat or prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections and disease (STDs/STIs). And now? Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis and even THE HIV/AIDs itself are no match for the Novel Corona virus.
These are indeed very uncertain times, with governments all over the world taking drastic measures to lock down, restrict movements and yet with diminutive hope or certainty that things will go back to normal soon.
With most people working from home or on forced leave and movement restrictions, loneliness, boredom with the so much time is paramount. For those staying with their partners the idea of sex must be flaunting. I mean ‘things’ are freely available on full time basis right?
Please note: Even if you are under self or institutional quarantine, having unprotected sex will still expose you to STIs and STDs and unplanned pregnancies.
But since abstinence is a complicated subject even without the CORONA virus, how can one enjoy their things without fear of getting pregnant or contracting STDS or STIs?
Using contraceptives allows people to attain their desired number of children and determine the spacing of pregnancies. They are also very helpful in times such as these where one wouldn’t want to get pregnant.
There are however two methods one can use to delay pregnancy; Traditional and modern methods these are broken down below;
PS: We recommend using modern methods because of their accuracy. They can easily be relied on without fear. These methods are available at any of the Reproductive Health Clinics countrywide. Give us a call to make an appointment
|Method||Description||How it works||Effectiveness to prevent pregnancy||Comments|
|Combined oral contraceptives (COCs) or “the pill”||Contains two hormones (estrogen and progestogen)||Prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation)||>99% with correct and consistent use||Reduces risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer|
|92% as commonly used|
|Progestogen-only pills (POPs) or “the minipill”||Contains only progestogen hormone, not estrogen||Thickens cervical mucous to block sperm and egg from meeting and prevents ovulation||99% with correct and consistent use||Can be used while breastfeeding; must be taken at the same time each day|
|90–97% as commonly used|
|Implants||Small, flexible rods or capsules placed under the skin of the upper arm; contains progestogen hormone only||Thickens cervical mucous to block sperm and egg from meeting and prevents ovulation||>99%||Health-care provider must insert and remove; can be used for 3–5 years depending on implant; irregular vaginal bleeding common but not harmful|
|Progestogen only injectables||Injected into the muscle or under the skin every 2 or 3 months, depending on product||Thickens cervical mucous to block sperm and egg from meeting and prevents ovulation||>99% with correct and consistent use||Delayed return to fertility (about 1–4 months on the average) after use; irregular vaginal bleeding common, but not harmful|
|97% as commonly used|
|Monthly injectables or combined injectable contraceptives (CIC)||Injected monthly into the muscle, contains estrogen and progestogen||Prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation)||>99% with correct and consistent use||Irregular vaginal bleeding common, but not harmful|
|97% as commonly used|
|Combined contraceptive patch and combined contraceptive vaginal ring (CVR)||Continuously releases 2 hormones – a progestin and an estrogen- directly through the skin (patch) or from the ring.||Prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation)||The patch and the CVR are new and research on effectiveness is limited. Effectiveness studies report that it may be more effective than the COCs, both as commonly and consistent or correct use.||The Patch and the CVR provide a comparable safety and pharmacokinetic profile to COCs with similar hormone formulations.|
|Intrauterine device (IUD): copper containing||Small flexible plastic device containing copper sleeves or wire that is inserted into the uterus||Copper component damages sperm and prevents it from meeting the egg||>99%||Longer and heavier periods during first months of use are common but not harmful; can also be used as emergency contraception|
|Intrauterine device (IUD) levonorgestrel||A T-shaped plastic device inserted into the uterus that steadily releases small amounts of levonorgestrel each day||Thickens cervical mucous to block sperm and egg from meeting||>99%||Decreases amount of blood lost with menstruation over time; Reduces menstrual cramps and symptoms of endometriosis; amenorrhea (no menstrual bleeding) in a group of users|
|Male condoms||Sheaths or coverings that fit over a man’s erect penis||Forms a barrier to prevent sperm and egg from meeting||98% with correct and consistent use||Also protects against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV|
|85% as commonly used|
|Female condoms||Sheaths, or linings, that fit loosely inside a woman’s vagina, made of thin, transparent, soft plastic film||Forms a barrier to prevent sperm and egg from meeting||90% with correct and consistent use||Also protects against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV|
|79% as commonly used|
|Male sterilization (vasectomy)||Permanent contraception to block or cut the vas deferens tubes that carry sperm from the testicles||Keeps sperm out of ejaculated semen||>99% after 3 months semen evaluation||3 months delay in taking effect while stored sperm is still present; does not affect male sexual performance; voluntary and informed choice is essential|
|97–98% with no semen evaluation|
|Female sterilization (tubal ligation)||Permanent contraception to block or cut the fallopian tubes||Eggs are blocked from meeting sperm||>99%||Voluntary and informed choice is essential|
|Lactational amenorrhea method (LAM)||Temporary contraception for new mothers whose monthly bleeding has not returned; requires exclusive or full breastfeeding day and night of an infant less than 6 months old||Prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation)||99% with correct and consistent use||A temporary family planning method based on the natural effect of breastfeeding on fertility|
|98% as commonly used|
|Emergency contraception pills (ulipristal acetate 30 mg or levonorgestrel 1.5 mg)||Pills taken to prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex||Delays ovulation||If all 100 women used progestin-only emergency contraception, one would likely become pregnant.||Does not disrupt an already existing pregnancy|
|Standard Days Method or SDM||Women track their fertile periods (usually days 8 to 19 of each 26 to 32 day cycle) using cycle beads or other aids||Prevents pregnancy by avoiding unprotected vaginal sex during most fertile days.||95% with consistent and correct use.||Can be used to identify fertile days by both women who want to become pregnant and women who want to avoid pregnancy. Correct, consistent use requires partner cooperation.|
|88% with common use (Arevalo et al 2002)|
|Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Method||Woman takes her body temperature at the same time each morning before getting out of bed observing for an increase of 0.2 to 0.5 degrees C.||Prevents pregnancy by avoiding unprotected vaginal sex during fertile days||99% effective with correct and consistent use.||If the BBT has risen and has stayed higher for 3 full days, ovulation has occurred and the fertile period has passed. Sex can resume on the 4th day until her next monthly bleeding.|
|75% with typical use of FABM (Trussell, 2009)|
|Two Day Method||Women track their fertile periods by observing presence of cervical mucus (if any type color or consistency)||Prevents pregnancy by avoiding unprotected vaginal sex during most fertile days,||96% with correct and consistent use.||Difficult to use if a woman has a vaginal infection or another condition that changes cervical mucus. Unprotected coitus may be resumed after 2 consecutive dry days (or without secretions)|
|86% with typical or common use. (Arevalo, 2004)|
|Sympto-thermal Method||Women track their fertile periods by observing changes in the cervical mucus (clear texture) , body temperature (slight increase) and consistency of the cervix (softening).||Prevents pregnancy by avoiding unprotected vaginal sex during most fertile||98% with correct and consistent use.||May have to be used with caution after an abortion, around menarche or menopause, and in conditions which may increase body temperature.|
|Reported 98% with typical use (Manhart et al, 2013)|
|Traditional Method||Description||How it works||Effectiveness to prevent pregnancy||Comments|
|Calendar method or rhythm method||Women monitor their pattern of menstrual cycle over 6 months, subtracts 18 from shortest cycle length (estimated 1st fertile day) and subtracts 11 from longest cycle length (estimated last fertile day)||The couple prevents pregnancy by avoiding unprotected vaginal sex during the 1st and last estimated fertile days, by abstaining or using a condom.||91% with correct and consistent use.||May need to delay or use with caution when using drugs (such as anxiolytics, antidepressants, NSAIDS, or certain antibiotics) which may affect timing of ovulation.|
|75% with common use|
|Withdrawal (coitus interruptus)||Man withdraws his penis from his partner’s vagina, and ejaculates outside the vagina, keeping semen away from her external genitalia||Tries to keep sperm out of the woman’s body, preventing fertilization||96% with correct and consistent use||One of the least effective methods, because proper timing of withdrawal is often difficult to determine, leading to the risk of ejaculating while inside the vagina.|
|73% as commonly used (Trussell, 2009)|
Well no need to panic at all, Babies indeed are a blessing. Make sure to take good care of yourself and avoid stress. Reproductive Health Uganda clinics are open and you can visit at any working time, Monday- Saturday or better still, call ahead and set yourself an appointment with our well trained doctors.
Our prices are subsidised and are affordable. RHU boosts of over 60 years experience in providing quality and exceptional reproductive health services.
Chunga meno. Swahili for, protect your teeth! In Pajulu Sub County, Arua district, Driwala parish, to be specific is a phrase associated with success. Bizarre, right? True, Chungameno is a name of a saving’s group started by the women vendors of Driwala market. Besides the success harnessed therein, the genesis of this initiative leaves quite the tale.
The charged males would storm the market to grab whatever measly money their wives had made for the day and while at it, beat them up. Or worse, they would wait for them at home, alone, then beat them up to a point that they would lose teeth. A particular group women, about 12, noticed that this was first getting out of hand.
“Women were not settled, there was total chaos!” Harriet Afetia, a leader of the saving’s group, and among the 12 women, narrates. “At least every week, one or two women would have a bruise or lose teeth, it was terrible!” The men wanted to control their money and were frustrated that their wives wouldn’t let them, so they beat them. “We got tired, we decided to do something about it!” Interestingly, it was that decision that started the journey that would later attract a project called prevention plus.
It was a little over 10 years ago when the women made the decision to take matters into their own hands. See, that afternoon, one of them came to the market bleeding from her mouth and the teeth were just about to come out. She had come to close down her stall and leave the village and her marriage all together. These women gathered together, concerned really, and asked what the issue was this time round. “My husband came back and didn’t find lunch ready, he pounced on me, hit my mouth and left my teeth shaky and gum bleeding,” the woman responded. Puzzled, her fellow women asked, “Lunch, couldn’t he cook it too?”
And just like that, one woman burst out: “We must protect ourselves and protect our teeth!” And these market women, locked in this bitter moment, many of whom didn’t have front teeth, agreed that they would start a group and the name would be, Chungameno! Not two words, but one word. “Chungameno came to arrest the situation!” Afetia exclaims.
But it wasn’t just the violent men that they sought to deal with, even within themselves, they insisted no one better be the perpetuator of violence. They didn’t lay a hand on anyone, but with up to 12 women, matching and chanting towards your home, most men had no alternative but go where the own wanted them to go, a police station. The Sub County leadership was impressed, and they asked police to work with the women.
“As soon we heard that one of us had been beaten, quickly we went as a group and arrested that man,” she recalls. They had become a mob! These women became each other’s keepers, but try as they may, they knew they needed a better strategy, dragging man after man to police was not going to be enough. They were in luck, news of their little group had reached Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU). Soon, their leader, Afetia would be called for a Prevention Plus training, by RHU, a thing they learnt gave their group just the backbone it needed.
“During the training, we dealt with the root of all this violence,” Afetia starts. “It was not enough to just keep matching our husbands to police, we needed to find a way to work with them.” Instead of treating the symptom, the Prevention plus training sought to deal with the cause. After sessions of dialogue, training and discussions, she learnt that if money and how money was spent was indeed the cause of most of the bickering, didn’t it make sense to then deal with that issue?
“That training helped me understand this problem properly,” she recalls. The first suggestion was that But first they would need to start a saving’s group! See, while they had been occasionally saving, it was not as comital, and the highest amount many saved was shs500. “I came back also and encouraged the group to first of all start putting more money aside,” she says. The goal was first to make sure no one had all their money on them; so they decided to put the minimum weekly savings at shs2000. They would save all year and only distribute at the end of the year.
But before all of this, they needed to discuss how to include their husbands in this growth. “After distributing the money like this, we always ask these women what they are going to do with the money,” she tells of how the discussion to include men begun. But also, the group attracted the RHU camp; the Prevention Plus team came to offer their services but also preach unity and inclusiveness in families, as opposed to just dealing with the culprits.
Soon, wives begun encouraging their husbands to attend the group meetings and save together. “During these meetings, the people from RHU would come and also teach couples about dangers of violence,” she recalls. This group that started out with just 12 members was now at nearly 200 members, with large number of couples jointly saving and many not even vendors.
Rophin Agamile, the area Local Councilor was the first male to join the group, and more than just save, his wife Christine Bako says he has become a better man. Agamile tells of how a session he attended that had guests from South Africa left him a changed man. “I was called as LC1 to welcome the visitors to the Chunagmeno group to talk about Prevention Plus,” he recalls. “These were guests from South Africa who had come to talk to the women’s group, I was impressed by what they said!”
The topic around Father’s Legacy hit a raw nerve. “As a father, what kind of example was I setting?” he remembers asking himself. Agamile used to abuse alcohol, return home in the wee hours to start fights. “When I was around the compound, the children were all quiet!” he narrates regretfully. “As a man, I used not to give chance to my madam to say a word; my words in fact were final in the home.” On a good note, Bako says that man is long gone. “My husband is good to me and my children,” she starts. “Can you believe we save together, we clean and cook food together, and he plays with the children?”
Almost instantly, their little child runs into Agamile’s hands, the peace in their homestead is visible, but is what Afetia said that made this even better. “Rophin is just one example, there are many men who came to save money, but instead became good fathers and husbands,” she says. “We invited the Prevention Plus team to train us on how to keep peace in our homes, and now no single member of our group has lost a tooth since.”
It might have been a dump morning that morphed into a drizzly day, but it didn’t define the RHU-organised Inter-University Dialogue that happened over the weekend at Makerere University. Over one thousand students from a host of different institutions around the country thronged the Freedom Square in what would be an intense dialogue into sexuality, culture and religion. (more…)
ACI goal is to inspire, empower and capacitate our network of volunteers in a peer-to-peer fundraising programme to raise support for health programmes that target women, girls and families in vulnerable, underserved and hard-to-reach communities.
Reaching most vulnerable and underserved communities with critical SRHR information and services
Volunteering can be personally rewarding and helps you give back to your community
Ministry of Education and Sports launches the 1st ever Sexuality Education Framework