Nonhlanhla Ndlovu (20), a single mother from Cowdray Park in Bulawayo said her life has never been the same from the time her high school lover deserted her after discovering that he had impregnated her.A�Her childhood boyfriend, only identified as Nqabutho, used to persistently force her to have unprotected sex saying if she became pregnant his parents were going to take care of the baby. However, when the real thing came he failed to live true to his promise.
Under pressure, Nonhlanhla dropped out of school with the hope of one day going back. Years have gone by, and she is now a vendor and is blaming herself for having unprotected sex.
Nonhlanhlaa��s sad tale is a testimony to many teenage mothers who apparently had their future doomed after having fallen pregnant due to having been forced or voluntarily engaged in unprotected sex with their boyfriends.
As an escape route from Nonhlanlaa��s misery, many youths especially those at colleges and universities have now resorted to using emergency contraception popularly known as morning-after pill whenever they indulge without protection, despite its side effects.
The morning-after pill or emergency contraception is a birth control pill which a woman can use to prevent pregnancy up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex.
A snap survey carried out by B-Metro in most of the citya��s pharmacies revealed that emergency contraption is on demand mostly by school or college going girls.
The use of morning-after pills mostly by the youths is also a graphic indication that they are more afraid of getting pregnant than contracting HIV.
a�?Most of our clients, when it comes to morning-after pills are school or college going girls who would have indulged in unprotected sex and come to buy to avoid falling pregnant.
a�?Some, who are shy to buy them even send their boyfriends to come and buy on their behalf. This has probably seen an increase in the prevalence rate of HIV and Aids among college and university students,a�? said a pharmacist who requested anonymity for professional reasons.
BIessing Tshuma, a college student, admitted to giving more priority to avoiding falling pregnant than contracting HIV when she said she preferred taking morning-after pills than using condoms as they are not 100 percent effective.
a�?Despite its side effects, I prefer using morning-after pills as they seem to be 100 percent safer than condoms which can accidentally burst during the act.
a�?This is so because I am working towards building my career and still want to enjoy my life without any problems of child support. Condoms also do not make the act so pleasurable especially to us who are still experimenting with sex,a�? she said.
According to online research the emergency pill have long-term side effects which can lead one to nausea, vomiting and tiredness. It can also cause abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dizziness, headaches, tender breasts and vaginal bleeding.