Effiom Nyong, Country Director, Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria, MSION, an NGO, has advised sexually active single women to embrace the use of Family Planning, FP, methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Mr Nyong gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that the various FP methods available today were made primarily to prevent unplanned pregnancies therefore they were equally effective and could be used by married and unmarried women.
He urged all sexually active single women not to be misguided by myths and believes in the society, but rather visit designated health facilities to receive proper counselling on the method suitable to them.
He criticised the use of the 72-hour pills by most young women, saying this is not a healthy method for preventing pregnancy as it can have adverse effects on the health and well being of the woman.
The country director said that no FP method available today was suited only for a particular age group, class or category of individuals but could be used by any woman at any time.
“There are different myths about FP either based on people sharing experiences that is not unique to everybody or people sharing unguarded and baseless information.
“This has been the biggest challenge of achieving effective FP in Nigeria. All peoples at all levels of social class are guilty of this and the best way to address this is to give yourself the chance to be counselled.
“Whatever your age or social status, you can go to any government or Marie Stopes facility to receive counselling and it is free; you will be told which method you are eligible for.
“More importantly is that you are the one who will make the choice of which method you want; no one will force you to use any method.
“There is no FP method tailored to any age group or any kind of woman neither is the method made for only those who are married as it is primarily meant to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
“We have the short term methods which can last from some weeks to three months and the long term methods which can last from three years to 10 years.
“The pills and the condom are some of the short term methods; the only challenge with the pills is that because you need to take them consistently and repeatedly for them to be effective you find that many people face the issue of complying to prescription.
“We also have the Sayana Press, a modern form of contraception that is injected and can last for up to three months. The Intrauterine Device (IUD) can last up to 10 years; we also have the implants Jadelle which lasts up to three years and other forms of contraception,” he explained
Mr Nyong said that these modern methods of contraception could be discontinued at any time if the woman wishes to get pregnant.
He said that although people react differently to the various methods, one would be properly be counselled and guided on the method most suitable to them.
According to the country director, some people will say “why should I take a FP method when I do not have a family. This should not be so as it is primarily for pregnancy prevention’’.
He said that with the help of the British Government, American Government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the organisation has trained over 4,500 government health service providers.
Mr Nyong said that the organisation has trained these service providers on the various FP methods, their uses, how to provide counselling to women and how to administer these methods.
NAN reports that Marie Stopes International (MSI) is a global organisation providing personalised contraception and reproductive health services to women and girls.
MSION as an affiliate of MSI was established in 2009 to increase access to affordable and high-quality modern contraceptives and confidential reproductive health services for women, men, couples and young people.
The organisation is present in over 34 states of the federation and some of its services include counselling and support on FP, child spacing, contraception, pregnancy planning and painful periods.
Others are sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer screening.