Prevention Is Better Than Cure

In dealing with health problems, it is said that prevention is better than cure. While it is certainly not an illness to be cured, the difficult situation of having an unwanted pregnancy can only be avoided in two ways: abstinence or prevention.

In 1999, the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health released a fact sheet about unwanted pregnancy. One fact listed there is that yearly, at least eight percent of Canadian women have an unwanted pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancy is a usually a result of ignorance, irresponsibility, or failure to use contraceptives. There are also cases where the contraceptive itself failed. The incidence of unwanted pregnancy has increased and, as a result, caused a rise in the number of reported abortions.

Nowadays, sexual activities are already widely discussed in the media and in public. Sex is no longer a taboo or forbidden topic. From movies to t.v. programs, from magazines to music — sex is already a well-worn topic or subject. The open discussions about sexuality had also exposed women to sex.

Not everyone, however, are aware of the risks or danger in doing it. This ignorance then results to incidents such as unwanted pregnancy. Its victims are mostly young girls who, because of their curiosity, decided to engage in sexual activities. Nowadays, the prevalence of teenage pregnancy has increased to 90% every year, especially in developing countries.

It is not only those who are ignorant who experience unwanted pregnancy, however. A lot of women, though aware of the possible dangers, still engage in unprotected sex. They are those who are embarrassed, restricted by their religious beliefs and have a wrong understanding of the use of contraceptions. Some women choose to be at risk of pregnancy rather than ask and obtain available contraceptives. Others deliberately avoid using protection after being made to believe that using contraceptives is against the right to life. The rest, not knowing enough information about contraceptives and its side effects, fear that using those techniques, medications or devices can be harmful to their health. They fail to understand, however, that a greater risk is involved when women continue having sex unprotected.

Aside from unwanted pregnancy, other dangerous conditions can also result from not using contraceptives and engaging in unprotected sex. For the past couple of years, World Health Organization and the United Nations are concerned with a certain disease or infection that has already killed approximately 25 million people or more. It has infected an estimated amount of 38 million people worldwide that it is considered as one of the most destructive pandemics in history of mankind. This condition famously known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus resulting to an infection of the immune system. This virus is transferred from person to person through sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, contamination of hypodermic needles, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Because of this widespread concern, various organizations all-over the world are already promoting the practice of safe sex and use of contraceptives such as condoms. Aside from AIDS, other infections that can be obtained from practicing unprotected sex are sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

The use of contraceptives, however, does not ensure complete protection from unwanted pregnancy. In 1994, sources such as Globe Watch and Birth Control Handbook indicated that various contraceptives such as condoms, diaphragm, intrauterine devices, fertility awareness, etc., have a failure rate ranging from .04% to 20%. Several studies, as mentioned in Wikipedia, also indicate a perfect-use failure rate of birth control methods or contraceptives from .4% to 6% every year. This does not disprove that fact that majority of those who use contraceptives also benefit from being protected against unwanted pregnancy and other dangerous diseases.

As a result, unwanted pregnancies caused by various factors sometimes lead to abortion. A lot of pro-life groups and organizations are recently increasing their efforts in discouraging this practice and educating people, especially women, to engage in safe sex. Not all organizations, though, promote the use of contraceptives because of its ethical issues. Moral and legal aspects of abortion are still debated until now, however, some countries like the United States already allow its practice. Abortion, despited having positive effects, can still be detrimental to a person’s health. It is said to cause breast-cancer and other mental health problems such as Post Abortion Syndrome. Rather than risk the dangers of having an abortion, it is better to just avoid getting pregnant when it is unwanted. Again, prevention is better than cure.

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