Youth: a time of change; in thinking, acting, reacting. A time that one would distance themselves from the love and protection of their parents are pursue the affection of a lover. A time where novelty and experimenting with life become behavior while problems and heartaches become a life style.
Youthfulness and the questions and concerns relating to the topic of reproductive health, a discussion led by Prof. Shantha Hettiarachchi, Senior Medical Health Officer of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
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Q1) The concept of youthful love and his experiences in dealing with the challenges it brings forth
Love and youthfulness are quite natural dynamics which are part and parcel of being a youth. However this aspect has more often than not become quite a sad state of affairs since youngsters indulge in activities that go beyond the innocent realm of youthful love harming them both physically and emotionally on the long run;
- Unwanted pregnancies being one of the most unfortunate of events that at times even lead to decisions concerning suicide.
- It also becomes a barrier for the youth when focusing on aspects of life which they should focus on during this time period of life.
- The tendency to get involved physically to the extent of those tied by the matrimonial bond is also another very regrettable incident since not only does it vacuum the excitement of the prospect of marriage but also because it turns the beauty of being married to a just another mundane hurdle of life.
However since you cannot always predict the future and one must go beyond certain hurdles presented in life, there’re solutions designed to avoid such unfortunate incidents.
Q2) Why shouldn’t suicide be an option for youth who’ve been oppressed by the dynamics of love and lust?
Even though life would change its course at the hands unfortunate events such as losing one’s virginity and having to face unwanted pregnancies, the field of medicine has found solutions to minimize the damage they could do to one’s life.
- Reconstructive Surgery
- Contraception methods
Therefore even though the need to not get involved in direct sexual intercourse cannot be stressed enough, if by any chance one is exposed to such dilemma solutions are available hence suicide by no means is the solution.
Q3) Lack of knowledge on methods of contraception is known to be a colossal issue in our society in terms of managing certain unfortunate incidents. Therefore what are the recommended methods for contraception?
There’re two main categories of contraception,
- Permanent contraceptive methods – involves surgery and is recommended for those who’re within the realm of matrimony.
- Temporary contraceptive methods
- Hormonal Methods
- Capsules which should be taken daily
Eg: One such brand used commonly in Sri Lanka is Mithuri, a card containing 28 tablets issued by the family planning association of Sri Lanka which is certified by the ministry of Health.
The consumption of this should be done with the consultation of a doctor since there are times when it would not be recommended. Eg: ladies over the age of 40 who are overweight or has high blood pressure or is diabetic would not be given such medication since it would amplify those sicknesses. Furthermore if the patient has a history of heart diseases, Epilepsy, migraine or breast/womb cancer the tablet will not be recommended.
Depo-Provera is one such injection that can be injected once in three months. This is not widely used in Sri Lanka since our sense of temporary would denote the ability to conceive as soon as the medication is stopped. This however is used by women who travel abroad or by those who’re married.
Depending on the product, these can be implanted under the skin and will be effective for 3 – 5 years.
- Inserting of the loop
This can be inserted to the womb and will be effective for 10 years or so depending on the product. It can later be taken off when necessary.
- Barrier methods
Q4) How would you terminate a sudden yet unwanted pregnancy?
Even though the most recommended would be to avoid direct sexual intercourse, some of the options available would be,
- Birth control pills
- Postinor 2 – Have one of these tablets within the first 72 hours and the next should be taken within the next 12 hours. This entire course should be taken within 72 hours of intercourse.
- Mithuri – Have 4 of the white pills (hormonal pills) instead on one Postinor 2 pill within the first 72 hours and the next should be taken within the next 12 hours.
- A loop can also be inserted.
These are known as emergency contraception pills since they are not recommended for casual usage. Therefore it is advised to avoid consuming these unless otherwise absolutely essential.
Q5) Your advice for youth who’re in love?
Avoid direct sexual intercourse since understanding each other and developing one’s self for the betterment of the future while staying happy is what’s important at this stage of life.
You’re an asset to this country and this discussion was to help you remain so. The journey you’ve come thus far has yet a lot more to go, therefore may you have the wisdom to move further!