For this post, I’m going to list all the available contraceptive methods in Zimbabwe, go into a little detail with each so you can get an idea of what’s out there in the market. I’ll go in-depth with side effects and who should/should not use each method in our next post.
This post does not take the place of your health practitioner’s advice; it is merely a guide to start a conversation and get your options in one place.
It sounds ridiculous, but it is true! Because let’s face it: if you don’t have sex, you won’t get pregnant, right?
Also known as the pull-out method in colloquial terms. It is not very popular, but it is a contraceptive method.
Fertility Awareness Methods (with or without apps)
This one tracks the days when you’re most fertile, and you can use protection during that time, or abstain from sex completely. A woman’s fertile window can be anything from day 10 to day 17 of your cycle. It requires you to be very vigilant: check your cervical mucus, track your periods, even measure your basal temperature to know your fertile days.
Fertility tracking has gotten fancy with apps like Clue, Lily, Eve, which track your period and let you know when your fertile days are. Another app, Natural cycles has been certified as a contraceptive method in Europe, as you measure your basal temperature, and you get to know whether you are fertile, and have to use protection, or not fertile, and you can have unprotected sex.
Condoms-Male and Female
Condoms in Zimbabwe range from the free ones that are found in bathrooms and public institutions to the fancy flavoured and decorated ones in shops.
The pills, injectables, implants and one of the intra-uterine contraceptive devices work in 3 ways:
-They thicken cervical mucus and make it harder for sperm to get to the fallopian tubes.
-They stop the follicles from maturing, and so, you don’t ovulate.
-They stop the lining of the uterus from being formed.
The pills are also varied, from the affordable, and available over the counter, to ones that require a prescription.These are the ones available in Zimbabwe:
Control pills: Usually $1 for 3, sometimes $1 for 2. (OTC)
Logynon: $8-12 per month (Prescription)
Minulette $22 per month (Prescription)
Secure: Usually $1 for 2 or 3 cycles (OTC)
Emergency contraception: used within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it’s available over the counter.
Depo-Provera is the one available in Zimbabwe, and depending on where you go, can be anywhere from $1-$5 for a 3-monthly injection.
Zimbabwe has the Jadelle contraceptive implant, and again, depending on where you go, can be anywhere from $20-$60 for insertion. It lasts for 5 years and can be taken out anytime within those five years.
Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD)
There are two IUCDs available in our nation, the Copper T, and Mirena. They’re both available in public and private institutions, and again the price varies depending on where you are. It ranges from about $30-$100 in private, and around $1 in public institutions, though I’m told they might review the prices.
The Copper T is effective for about 10 years, and Mirena is effective for about 5, and again, they can be removed anytime within that space of time.
This is a permanent contraceptive, where they tie and cut the fallopian tubes.
When more options become available, I will update and share. Part 2 will be focused on the side effects and what you should consider when choosing a certain method. I hope this allows you to start thinking about your options, and what to talk about when you have the conversation with your doctor/nurse.
Until next time… your Quarter Wife.