Contraceptives lie at the heart of proper family planning
With World Contraception Day coming up on Sunday 26 September, the Western Cape Department of Health continues to promote access to contraception as a foundation of good sexual and productive health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond.
The Department is encouraged by the women and men who participated in its #PlanAheadWC campaign this year. Many of them have visited healthcare facilities to access contraception, engaged our experts on Facebook with their questions on contraceptive use and safe sex, and accessed our website to learn more about our family planning services on offer.
Throughout the pandemic, sexually active women have been able to access various contraceptive methods, including the birth control pill, the intrauterine device (IUD), injectables, implants, male and condoms. All of which are available for free at healthcare facilities, including accessible 24 hours at selected facilities in the Cape Metro district. The implant and IUD are long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), and the most effective forms of family planning as they require fewer visits to the clinic.
The Department remains committed to empowering women and couples to take charge of their fertility and to decide and schedule the number of children they want to have. World Contraception Day commemorated on 26 September is fitting to raise awareness about contraception and safe sex. This helps women and couples to make informed decisions, plan every pregnancy, and reduce unintended pregnancies that are likely to be riskier, particularly if they end in unsafe abortion.
“Sexually active women should be empowered to make informed decisions on when or if they want to have children. Some methods of contraception will be better for some women than others. It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each method. You should choose a method that best suits your health and lifestyle preferences,” said Alzane Stuart, a family planning nurse at Kraaifontein Community Health Centre.
Women can access information about contraception by visiting www.westerncape.gov.za/site-page/family-planning.