AWiB Events Event Recap Weekend activities Recap Recap HealthSmart on Contraception
30 March 2017 Written by 

Recap HealthSmart on Contraception

Recap HealthSmart on Contraception

Are you ready for pregnancy? Are you at least aware of the safe options you have to prevent pregnancy?  Do you know how contraceptives work and what side effects they have? On March 18th, Saturday 2017 in the afternoon our program on HealthSmart: contraception was given by Dr. MunirKassa, a very well-known gynecologist from St. Paul hospital with three assistant nurses. The AWiB Resource Center (ARC) was filled with concerned a group of 20 people. We began the program by introducing ourselves which created a more comfortable environment. It got more interesting as Dr. Munir asked all of us to share any kind of myth we had heard about contraceptives. The myths going around were funny as well as concerning.

  • IUD Loop can travel to the brain
  • Any contraception can cause infertility on young women who have not given birth
  • The injection type of contraceptive can accumulate fat around stomach
  • Depo-Provera Can cause birth defect
  • Depo-Provera can cause abortion
  • Depo-Provera causes vaginal dryness
  • Condom decreases pleasure
  • Depo-Provera cause anemia and depression
  • Oral pills causeNausea and vomiting

Did you know you have a reproductive health right? The right to decide on the numbering and spacing of children as an individual or as a couple. Legal indicators for abortion in our country- article 551-555 states the condition where abortion can be applicable. These are;-

  • If the girl is under 18
  • If the girl/woman is impregnated by rape
  • If the pregnancy is unhealthy or risky for the woman
  • If impregnated from relative 

Dr. Munir went on explaining about the two effective pills for abortion.

  1. Mifepristone- is a synthetic steroid that inhibits the action of progesterone, given orally in early pregnancy to induce abortion.
  2. Misoprostol- is a medication used to start labor, cause an abortion, prevent and treat stomach ulcers and treat postpartum bleeding due to poor contraction of the uterus. For abortions it is often used with mifepristone or methotrexate. 

Dr. Munir then made us pick a number from 1 to 4 and grouped us based on the numbers we picked. We were then assigned to discuss about one particular contraceptive which his assistant nurse Megan gave to each group. After this one person from each group presented what has been discussed by the group. 

Group1- ‘Depo-Provera’

Depo-Provera is a widely used contraceptive injection for women. It typically suppresses ovulation, keeping ovaries from releasing egg. Depo-Provera also thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching the egg. It's a safe and convenient birth control method that works really well if you always get it on time. It is an injection you get from a nurse or doctor once every 3 months. In Ethiopia out of the 36% women who use contraception 80% use Depo-Provera. When the woman wants to get pregnant she can, by stopping using Depo with the help of a professional. Conceiving could be delayed by 10 months after Depo.

Side effects

Depo-Provera can cause abdominal pain, acne, breast soreness, decreased interest in sex, depression, dizziness,headaches, irregular periods and breakthrough bleeding…etc

Group2 - ‘IUD (loop)’

IUD loop (intrauterine device) is a device inserted into the uterus (Womb) to prevent conception (pregnancy). The IUD can be a coil, loop, triangle, or T in shape made of plastic or metal. An IUD is inserted into the uterus by a health-care professional. It is inserted through ovary. Loop doesn’t have hormone instead it’s made of copper and this copper hinders ovulation. The copper is also there to induce inflammation. Our body fights the foreign body at first then it gets used to it. In Ethiopia we have IUD that can stay up to 12 years. When the woman wants to get pregnant she can, by getting out the loop with the help of health professional. There is no menses interruption like other contraceptives do.Using multiple sexual partners while using the loop increases infection.

Side effects

IUD can increase bleeding; mild to moderate pain and/or backache can be felt after insertion. Irregular or heavier periods and increased menstrual pain can happen as well. But these minor complications usually go away in about 3–6 months once our body gets used to the visitor in our uterus.

Group3 -‘Oral pills contraception’

Oral contraceptives are birth control pills taken by mouth. Most Oral contraceptives include both estrogen and progesterone. When given in certain amount and certain times in the menstrual cycle, these hormones prevent the ovary from releasing an egg for fertilization.These contraceptives are taken daily. They might prevent ovarian cancer.

Side effects

Users can forget taking the pills as required for it requires discipline. Due to hormonal changes they can also cause nausea & vomiting.Breast tenderness, headaches, weight gain, mood changes, missed periods, decreased menses could be felt.Oral pill is not advisable for a smoker, older than 35 or those with hypertension. 

Group4 -‘Implanon and Jadelle’

Implanon is a type of birth control implantcontaining the hormone etonogestrel, which is similar to the naturally occurring hormone progesterone, made by the ovary. This contraceptive implant is a thin rod, 40 mm in length and 2 mm in diameter, about the size of a cardboard matchstick. It’s made from a flexible plastic and is inserted just under the skin on the inner side of your upper arm and it can stay up to 3 years.

Jadelle is a contraceptive implant, used to prevent pregnancy. Contraceptive implants such as Jadelle are long term (up to five years) use. The implant contains a synthetic hormone, levonorgestrel, which is also one of the active ingredients used in many oral contraceptives.

In our country’s case out of 100 women- 20% use Jadelle.  User can take these contraceptives right after giving birth; these can prevent pregnancy for5 years.

Side effects

Implanon can cause pain, may decrease sexual desire; can be itchy at theincision,

minor bleeding or scarring where the implant was inserted, menstrual cramps, changes in menstrual periods, mild headache, dizziness, mood changes;vaginal itching or discharge, breast pain, acne.

As a bonus Dr. Munir explained about the contraceptive ‘condom’ with his assistant nurse Asnakech.

Condom usages


  • Check expiry
  • Should be checked that it has air
  • Open by the right direction
  • Blow air to it to know the right direction
  • Hold the top part where the sperm will be stored so that air wouldn’t feel it
  • Then carefully scroll down on the erected penis
  • After sex the man should scroll out the condom from the inside because the outside part touches the woman’s fluid.
  • Condom is the only contraceptive that can prevent pregnancy as well protect from Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)


We all know the best way to challenge our understanding about anything is by going through questions. And as the training comes to an end we moved on to Questions and Answers. Dr, Munir as he finished his very well organized, interesting and entertaining presentation,we were grouped in to two sub-groups and asked these important questions as a game. You readers also can challenge your selves with these questions without looking atthe answers.


  1. The health triangle consists of three components. These are ________ ,______ and ____________ wellbeing.
  2. Antibiotics can interfere with pills. True or False
  3. ____________and __________ help women to maintain their bone strength. 
  4. Emergency contraception can be used within ____ hours after having unprotected sex.
  5. ________________and______________STIs can be treated by an antibiotic.
  6. Cervical cancer is caused by a virus called________________.
  7. Breast cancer test should be done ________in the house with one’s hand and ____________at hospital.
  8. _____________ is the leader of Awramba community.
  9. The basic colors of RBV are ______, ______ and _______.
  10. Ghonoria has no symptom on women. True or False.
  11. ________and________ are most effective contraceptives.
  12. _________is the most populous city of our world.
  13. ___________is transmitted through sexual intercourse.
  14. Out of all contraceptive methods the one that protects from sexually transmitteddisease is ____________.


  1. Physical, Mental and Social
  2. True
  3. Calcium and Vitamin D
  4. 72 hours
  5. Chlamydia and Ghonoria
  6. HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
  7. every month and once a year
  8. Zumra
  9. Red, Yellow and Blue
  10. True
  11. Implant and IUD
  12. Tokyo
  13. HepatitisB
  14. Condom

Here are some facts about contraception.

  • Out of 1000 women who use Implant and IUD less than 1% get pregnant
  • 90 out of 1000 women who use oral pills get pregnant
  • Cervical cancer is an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) and can cause penile cancer on the man.
  • In the developed countries Cervical cancer test can be done at 19 years of age. In Ethiopia a woman should start this test at least by age 30 especially for those who are sexually active for it is costly to do it earlier.
  • Health extension workers address most of contraception services in Ethiopia.
  • Women whose husband doesn’t agree to use contraceptive should use Calendestine.
  • For example doctors advise women to use Clandestine (Using contraceptives secretly without letting know her husband) when her husband refuses because it’s her right
  • (100,000) sperm- for 1 egg but the sperm stays for 7 days and the egg is only for 12 hours
  • menopause time of a woman is from 45-52 (for this age group Tuber Lagation or IUD is better)
  • Contraceptives do not prevent from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) except Condom

By MetasebiaTenna, project coordinator

AWiB would like to proudly acknowledge its partners for the year.