A medical officer has cautioned against the frequent and repeated use of emergency contraceptives, highlighting potential dangers for women with specific medical conditions.
Dr Mrs Anita Owusu-Afriyie, a Medical Officer at the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) in Tema, emphasized that emergency contraceptives should only be used for their intended purpose and not as a regular form of contraception.
Speaking at a health communication initiative called “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility!” organized by the Ghana News Agency's Tema Regional Office, Dr Mrs Owusu-Afriyie revealed that relying on emergency contraception as the primary method of birth control can lead to increased side effects, such as menstrual irregularities.
She advised women in this situation to consult healthcare professionals to explore alternative options.
Dr Mrs Owusu-Afriyie explained that emergency contraceptives, like other oral contraceptives, work by altering hormone levels in the body, thereby increasing the risk of certain cancers, particularly breast cancer, which is prevalent in Ghana.
She encouraged young women to consider abstinence or condom use as safer forms of protection instead of resorting to the misuse of emergency contraceptives.
The medical officer also warned against engaging in multiple sexual partnerships, as it heightens the risk of contracting human papillomavirus (HPV), a cancer-causing virus. She emphasized that HPV can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, not necessarily requiring intercourse.
Dr Mrs Owusu-Afriyie urged individuals to undergo HPV tests and Pap tests, especially if they have tested positive for HPV or have an abnormal Pap test result.
Furthermore, she advised individuals with a family history of cancer to undergo regular medical checkups at least twice a year to ensure early detection and timely intervention.
The public health advocacy platform, “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility,” aims to promote health literacy and improve health-related communication among the population.