One of the things I’ve learned through exploring black feminism is that taking care of my health and my body is a priority. It can’t just be ignored into wellness. I’m really alarmed by the massive amounts of misinformation out there about birth control or any form of contraception in the Caribbean.
When I hear certain things a part of me wants to scream, “Where did you learn this? A manicou?!”
• Birth control makes you fat
• A vasectomy inhibits a man’s ability to orgasm properly (do you even know what’s down there?)
• other ridiculous things, too numerous to mention…
A part of me understands that it’s just ignorance and the education system completely fails its students when it comes to sexual education.
We rely on “abstinence only” or “no sex until marriage” education when…
• Saint Lucia’s marriage rate is THE THIRD LOWEST in the world [x]
• One of the highest teenage pregnancy rates (43.9 out of a 1000 live births according to U.N. reports.
So obviously, not only is abstinence only education not working but we have deluded ourselves into actually thinking people wait until marriage to have sex. I mean… Even if you do believe that people should wait for sex until marriage the fact of the matter is they don’t. We need to be teaching based on reality not just wishful thinking.
Not to mention, it’s laughable when you think about it since 99% of the people who teach abstinence had plenty of sex and plenty of children out of wedlock. Maybe it’s not that laughable, but I’m laughing at it anyways…
So here are the ways that you can prevent yourself from getting an STD or having babies before your time. I’ll give you a few bullets for each one, but really you should check these out yourself and KNOW THE FACTS before you spread uninformed nonsense.
(i.e. unless your priest/pastor/mother/auntie/obeah man is a physician, i don’t want to hear it)
- IUD – Intrauterine Device [x]
- t-shaped tube inserted by a physician into your uterus. there are two kinds copper (lasts ten years) and plastic (lasts five years)
- You can get them removed at any time
- Prevent pregnancy but not STDs
- Diaphragm (used with spermicide) [x]
- shallow dome shaped cup that covers the cervix
- need to get fitted by a physician and you can use it for up to two years
- prevents pregnancy but not STDs
- Hormonal Birth Control (the pill) [x]
- Take every day, ensures that you don’t ovulate
- prevents pregnancy and not STDS
- myth busting: the pill does not inherently make you fat… some people experience weight gain with some kinds of birth control but not all people with not all pills. Different medications have different effects.
- Depo-Provera (The Shot) [x]
- injection of hormones (natural hormones that are already found in your body in case you’re panicking) that prevents pregnancy for around three months
- given to you by a physician
- prevents pregnancy but doesn’t protect from STDs
- insertable hormonal ring that prevents pregnancy but not STDs
- you put it in for 3-4 weeks and then remove it to have a menstrual period. Painless as putting in a tampon
- Female Condoms [x]
- polyurethane condom that you insert into the vagina to prevent pregnancy/some STDs
- inserted prior to sex
- sort of difficult to come by, but you can use them up to six hours before intercourse (#BePrepared)
- Dental Dams [x]
- use during oral sex and prevents STDs from spreading
- doesn’t protect from pregnancy (obviously…
- Condoms [x]
- I think you know the deal with these. With proper use they are 99% effective so don’t listen to people who say they “don’t always work” as an excuse!
- Easiest to come by and cheapest. If you have a latex allergy they are available in other kinds of materials.
- Prevents some STDs and pregnancy. Don’t prevent herpes/pubic lice
- there are many different sizes of condoms so “it doesn’t fit” doesn’t mean no condom, it means try a different sized one.
- Vasectomy [x]
- somewhat reversible surgical procedure that prevents sperm from leaving the penis
- less popular form of male birth control, but does not prevent STDs
- myth busting: yes you can have a vasectomy and still release semen because semen and sperm are not produced in the same place.
- Historectomy [x]
- removal of the uterus (or partial removal of the female reproductive organs
- prevents pregnancy but does not prevent STDs
If you want to know more, follow the links that I so helpfully included for you. While most of these are for preventing pregnancy… STD prevention can be attained by getting regularly tested and having your partner get regularly tested as well. (#HospitalDate)
THIS is the information that should be COMMON knowledge in schools. Not fear mongering. Not lies and misinformation. Abstinence only education prevents people from making INFORMED choices and is typically inherently misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic.
I guess the other thing to tackle in terms of sexual education would be the obsession with the biologically false concept of virginity… but I’ll leave that for another day.