My first knowledge about contraception was in my first at the university. At a period where most of us have had our virginity pledges broken more often than condoms. I had escorted a friend to hospital and i do not recall how the topic came up because she was doing a monitoring for her internal organs. “My wife and I have spent 5 years with no child,” the doctor started. ‘I used to encourage her to take progesterone-pill while at campus however we had no knowledge of the things we needed to know , her body reaction, how often and for what kind of emergency but it was a quicker option and almost every girl talked about it.’ Our jaws dropped. But well he took us through all the types of contraceptives how they worked so we were left to determine what works for us. condoms, caps, implants, injections, IUDs, moon beads,progesterone-pill,Virgina ring, diaphragms, withdraw method…(name it).
Apart from condoms and pills i had no idea bout the rest. I wasn’t even sure about pills because there many brands and i had never used them. After this lesson, I opted for the withdraw (Don’t open your mouth in awe). I found it safer because of views well known to me. Then later i realized i could Abstain (anha! i see you twisting your mouth,see, we all work differently). But well yes i also recall the being faithful part so testing for HIV,STDs and the rest is a must if we must. Condoms too were an option but hmm not much. (I am no devil, am like the rest of you with demons in your closets. And yes i repeat now am better off abstaining.)
Well, when i returned to my hostel room, i wondered why we are not taught this earlier, why some things like contraception are embarrassing to buy at sixteen, why society think you are wasted when you openly pick up condoms from a supermarket? A friend of mine once told me that the teller girl would look at him like “Are you sure you are going to use these or?”. When a teenager gets pregnant even the doctors want to question her. It feels like a bishop saying ‘church isn’t a house for saints and when you get pregnant and not married in church you are shunned ashamed and pushed out of the congregation. Ironic?.
If at puberty all these things are brought to my attention like it was back in the days when our mothers were married off at 16years of age, we would be safe. Although, that generation of our mothers had little knowledge on family planning, teenage mothers were well attended to. The stigma wasn’t as real as it is now. People in society had a heart.(our generation has hearts but the other heart, hmm). In an era where virginity breaks more often than condoms, a lot of unexplained information at display, very busy parents, i think Sex education should be added to the syllabus. Yes, even for the boys, they are actually more ignorant than the girls not because they do not care, but society dictated their ignorance after all the evidence they carry isn’t as visible as for the girls…Boys pay attention. When she is pregnant, she aint alone, you carry with her.
Every pregnant Teenager first thinks “mum is gonna kill me!” Instead of “I need to tell mum”
We fail at understanding them, offering assistance and loving them, Listening to them and maybe if certain things were told earlier just maybe…
Stay Safe.Be Steady!