SHOCKING details have emerged that some female students at tertiary institutions around the country were using birth control pills to suppress their periods.
One of the main reasons is that some would be doing it to please their boyfriends while putting their own health at risk.
“It’s happening, it’s quite often especially in tertiary institutions’ set up where that stuff is easily available,” said Sibonginkosi Mushapaidze from Young People’s Network on sexual and reproductive health HIV and AIDS.
“From a tertiary point of view, it could be that my boyfriend is coming over. He can’t find me on my period, so I am going to take it, right.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Daphane Nyamapfeni, a University of Zimbabwe Student.
“Just as my colleague Sibo has just said, it’s all about my boyfriend is coming over and I do not want to be on my period or the fact that periods are generally irritating somehow especially at tertiary institutions where we have got fashions and so on.
“Sometimes the dress I want to wear would not even allow me to wear that pad. So, we end up definitely you know taking those family planning pills to stop the period.”
A director with Talia Women’s Network Saliwe Zakariya described the unorthodox practice as childish.
“It’s really not advisable to take the family planning tablets at that age, to stop periods because family planning tablets come with the positives and the negatives.
“So, you are already introducing the chances of having the negative side effects on the system just because you want to have sex with your boyfriend.”
Guests who were part of the National Aids Council HIV and Covid-19 Series all agreed that there was need for girls at schools to have some privacy during their menstrual cycles while more information had to be shared to move away from keeping the biological process as taboo or a secret.
“Something that we need to start teaching the girls at a young age to be proud of her femininity, proud of who you are,” Zakariya said.
“So, when you accept yourself, you are freer to talk about it as much as we speak about breaking the silence, talking about menstrual hygiene, it also comes to who you are as a person and valuing yourself knowing that I am precious.”