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Expert explains myths and rumours surrounding Sexual, Reproductive Health, pregnancies among Teens

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

Dr. Anicet Nzabonimpa, a senior expert on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights has explained rumours and myths surrounding reproductive health system adding that many of these rumours and myths lead to early pregnancies among adolescents’ girls.

He explains these at a time when many countries, including Rwanda, continue to be plagued by the problem of unplanned pregnancies among adolescent girls, and in particular, at the time when the whole world is facing the severity of the current COVID 19 pandemic.

Discussing topics like this to explain the myths about Health reproduction is important because there are so many young people who fall into temptation that sometimes lead to sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

Dr. Nzabonimpa explains that in fact there is no formula in getting pregnancy.

He said “Whether you are sleeping, standing, sitting or whichever position you can get impregnated and a boy can get her pregnant”

He was refuting allegations made by some people who say that in order to be pregnant you need to do sexual intercourse only in bed.”

He also confirmed that Bath towel, underwear can cause pregnancy in case the owner has left sperms on those clothes.

“It is true that someone can get pregnant when she uses of their partner’s bath towels or underwear if there is any active semen left on these types of clothes and are used by a female who is in her reproductive state then she is likely to get pregnant.” He says

Dr. Nzabonimpa also added that touching on each other’s private parts between male and female can lead to possible cases of pregnancies.

“Let us say for example you touch your penis or a girl is touching your penis with semen, when you touch back in the girl’s private part (vagina) or herself touches there after having touched that penis with semen, there is a lot of possibilities to get pregnant.” He explains.

Other dismissed myths are related to body changes one can go through and get trapped into having sexual intercourse believing that she/he will get a nice face or curved hips, big chest, etc…

“All of such beliefs are false. Having sex doesn’t bring curved hips, or cure the pimples around the face, those are false information that can lead adolescents into premature sex.” He noted.

“Having pimples is not an illness! This is a proof of changes in body which goes together with age. So, girls should not be trapped by such rumours or boys vice versa.” He added.  

During the discussion at the time of COVID 19 lockdown when young people were obliged to stay at home to avoid the contamination from the corona virus, Dr. Nzabonimpa touched a lot of subjects with the aim of giving full information about the early pregnancy among young people as well as the way of prevention.

He said that there are a lot of consequences that can follow the early pregnancies especially among adolescents.

He cites the stigma that follows when a girl is impregnated at her early age and how she is affected psychologically and many other sicknesses that can follow.

“For instance, when these adolescents’ girls are giving birth, it is not easy because normally there is insufficient space between her thighs and this also most of the time leads to injuries that cause fistula among those girls.” He said.

Statistics show that among 1000 women giving birth one of them get fistula while among adolescents’ girls the number of fistula cases can be three times than women at the age of giving birth.

Fistulas can cause a lot of discomfort, and if left untreated, may cause serious complications. Some fistulas can cause a bacterial infection, which may result in sepsis, a dangerous condition that can lead to low blood pressure, organ damage or even death.

According to Rwanda Women’s Network, currently, more than 25 per cent of girls aged 15 to 19 in Rwanda have their first sexual experience by the age of 15, and 15 per cent of births occur to teenage mothers. About 15 per cent of births in Rwanda occur to mothers below 20 years of age and this mostly is due to unwanted and unplanned pregnancies.




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