Empowering Women To Take Care of Reproductive Health

I remember teaching family planning in the community during college years. Back then, it was one of the funniest subjects because I'm not yet comfortable talking about sex, sexuality and reproductive health then. Even the mothers in the community felt the same way yet I noticed how they giggled. :)

iWomen with Dra. Ana Belen Alensua
iWomen with Dra. Ana Belen Alensua
In a recent event I was invited to, a small group of women and advocates talked about the advantages of family planning. Dra. Ana Belen Alensua discussed medical aspects on reproductive health as well as the importance of family planning in today's society such as dangerously increasing cases of sexually-transmitted diseases like HIV.

The data on early pregnancy and maternal deaths were quite alarming. I believe that one of the most effective ways to address this issue is through proper education and promoting awareness.

Is it true that contraception is not something we talk about comfortably? Probably because sex is a personal thing. However, in disseminating information and raising family planning awareness, health workers should be comfortable to discuss this matter to couples especially to mothers, wives. Women need to understand the importance of taking care of their bodies as well as raising children well.

Look at this maternal infographic I saw on UNFPA page. It says that every day, over 20,000 girls (not yet women) under age 18 give birth in developing countries. We don't want children to have children, not yet because they need to enjoy their life as girls. These girls are not yet ready physically, emotionally, mentality, and holistically.

Empowering Women To Take Care of Reproductive Health
Photo from UNFPA
I believe it is my right and responsibility to take care of my body. Just like going to the spa, we spent hundreds of pesos for an hour of body massage but rarely set an appointment with an OB-gyne. Maybe because of fear to see a physician or undergo some physical examination.

The gathering of iWoman set an opportunity to talk about birth control pills and other types of family planning. We're familiar with pills, right? Aside from preventing pregnancy, oral pills are given to treat various medical and dermatological problems such as acne. To know more about birth control pills and effective ways of contraception, visit your physician or the nearest barangay health center. Discuss your family planning concerns to the doctor or rural health nurse, I'm sure they will guide and enlighten you.

Minipil and Cybelle

I haven't used contraceptive pills but my sister said she usually experienced headache. Dra. Belen explained that Minipil is an ideal pill to use for first time users. The brand Minipil, is a combination of 100 mcg Levonorgestrel + 20 mcg Ethinylestradiol. It is the lowest available in the market. Other bands have 125 to 150 mcg of Levonorgestrel and 30mcg of Ethinylestradiol. It has to be noted that low dose does not mean reduced efficacy, but it will definitely reduce side effects, especially if it will be the first time to use the pill.

photo credits: thefilipinodoctor.com

Perhaps you've met women diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). I wonder if they have been prescribed a pill with Cyproterone acetate and Ethynylestradiol. It is prohibitively expensive at Php 656, the pill is made in Europe after all. However there is brand that is more affordable at about Php 450, that is Cybelle (Cyproterone acetate 2mg + Ethinylestradiol 35mcg), it is also made with Cyproterone acetate and Ethynylestradiol and also made in Europe.

Empowering Women To Take Care of Reproductive Health
Empowering Women To Take Care of Reproductive Health (Photo credits: UNFPA)
Get to know more about iWoman and #KnowMoreLiveMore campaign that gives women the right information to help her live life without regrets and enjoy life to the fullest. There are products the are committed in caring for every type of women. Women of today are empowered, we should also lead and guide the young generation because they will be our future leaders.

Stay tuned for my next article, we will talk about Liza (Drospirenone 3mg + Ethinylestradiol 30mcg) and Lizelle (Drospirenone 3mg + Ethinylestradiol 30mcg).


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