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Peril of the pill for that oops moment

A female student checks into one of Nairobi’s universities fresh and innocent.

A few months down the line, she is hardly recognisable; her looks have changed, and something else too – she is no longer a virgin, as she has since found a boyfriend(s) and has started having sex. Most likely unprotected.

Ideally, all public universities provide condoms in both male and female hostels, but many students think they are too ‘cheap’.

“In most cases, sex happens in the heat of the moment. You are from raving, you are high and you have unprotected sex. It is what we call an ‘Oops moment,’” said Grace, a fourth-year student.

On campus, the biggest worry is getting pregnant. And students have found a way to bypass that fear — the emergency contraceptive pill.


This pill is supposed to be used only during emergencies but female students have turned it into their regular birth control pill, to pop after those ‘Oops moments’.

For their own assurance, male students are now stocking the pill in their rooms and make their girlfriends take them.

Indeed, young men are now controlling contraception.

Most female students admit that the guys would rather forego the condom, especially if they are in an exclusive relationship.

“The e-pill in campus today is like a pain killer! Men are buying them in bulk,” said Maureen.

For starters, the e-pill, is very affordable, retailing for about Sh150. Secondly, they are available over the counter in any chemist in town, at any time.

Worrying trend

The consumption of the e-pill has become frequent and casual, and is now a worrying trend.

Dr John Ongech, head of department for Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Kenyatta National Hospital said ideally the emergency pill is used, “when you forget to take your daily pills, or in the unfortunate case of rape.”

He added that the greatest danger with the e-pill is the high hormone concentration, which disrupts the menstrual cycle and eventually interferes with a woman’s fertility.