Contraception Options in Kenya

Contraception helps women protect themselves against early or unwanted pregnancies. However, there a lot of misconceptions and myths that surrounds it. Many women complain about the side effects they have to embrace and live with every day. Others don’t see their need especially when in long distance relationships. And while some welcome the idea of their male counterparts taking responsibility of managing parenthood, it remains highly recommended that families support the idea of contraceptive to plan their families better. Let’s delve deeper into what contraception is and how to go about it. 

What Is Contraception?

Contraception is the use of artificial techniques or methods to prevent pregnancy. It is usually used and recommended by couples, actively engaging in sex. You can use either of these preventative measures:

  • Barrier methods – This involves the use of condoms to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg 
  • Contraceptive pills – Contraceptive pills work by attempting to:
  1. Prevent the sperm from getting to the egg
  2. Seize the egg production
  3. Stop the attachment of the fertilized egg on the womb lining

Contraception Options

Most, if not all public hospitals and a number of entertainment spots in Kenya offer barrier methods such as condoms free of charge. Contraceptives such as birth control pills are also affordable and available in different variations if you choose to buy them. 

What Types of Contraceptives are Available

There are two categories of contraceptives; 

Hormonal method includes:

Injectionsare popular for their confidentiality and privacy nature for example depo provera

Pills – Kenya mostly prescribes combined oral contraceptives (COCs) pills that contain both progestin and estrogen. They are very effective and safe when taken correctly and consistently. 

Implants – they are long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) type of contraception. They stay effective for 5 years

Contraceptive patches – they are small patches that release hormones into the body through your skin to avoid pregnancy.

Non-hormonal method includes: 

Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) – the most commonly used in Kenya is copper IUD approved for 10 years minimum. Other than spacing the time between each pregnancy, you can use it when you want to stop childbearing altogether. .

Sterilization – It is an effective and permanent contraception technique and involves vasectomy and tubal ligation

Diaphragm or cervical cap – these are silicone caps inserted into the vagina 

Male and female condoms – these prevent the entry of sperm into the uterus

Natural birth control – these can include breastfeeding, withdrawal, and calculating a woman’s safe days ( these are your least fertile days in your ovulation cycle estimated to be between 12-14 days before your next period)

Concerns by Women

You should choose a contraception option based on age, health, side effects, effectiveness level, and lifestyle. Let’s put to rest a few major concerns that women have.

  • Weight gain that hormonal birth control causes – you need to know that there is no consistent effect on weight gain by contraceptives. Factors such as exercise, dieting, metabolism change, and genetic potential are more likely to cause weight variation. 
  • Lower libido – presently, there is conflicting scientific evidence as to the effect of contraceptives on sex drive. The change may be due to other reasons, for example, dissatisfaction with their relationship, stress, and hormonal fluctuations.
  • Pelvic infections – According to research, coil insertion does not increase the risk of getting infections. However, if inserted into an already infected womb, frequently asymptomatic infection, then it will flare. It may cause the mistaken notion that the coil caused it.
  • Infertility – the only contraceptive method that causes infertility is sterilization. Ovulation and fertility continue following the use of contraceptives. Even without the use of contraceptives it may take a couple a while before conceiving. Therefore, it is wise to be patient. You should seek medical advice after a year of regularly trying to get pregnant and failing. 

You can stop taking pills at any time when you decide to get pregnant. 


#Please note that development differs from one child to another.

#Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

#Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: rti, nhs, standardmedia, venasnews, nation

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