Contraception Poser: Condom, Birth Control Pill Shortages

Bulawayo – First it was condom shortages, now birth control pills are scarce on the shelves of Bulawayo outlets.

According to media outlets, Marvelon, a popular birth control pill which experts say had less side effects compared to other methods of contraception.

Majority of pharmacies admitted to running out of Marvelon stocks two weeks ago. 

“We have since started selling the Control Pill, a combined oral contraceptive that is manufactured by Family Care Limited. This kind of pill was very popular but we put it away when we had shortages in 2014 and Marvelon was sold instead,” said a local pharmacy to Chronicle.
Marvelon Pills 

Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) spokesperson refused to respond to the media.

However, a source said they have only two month supply.

“We had to withdraw the pill from pharmacies and other outlets where women were accessing it because of its shelf life. However, we still have a few centres where it is still available but we are only giving a two months’ supply,” said the source.

She added: “The pill was introduced on temporary basis to meet demand and now women will have to use other control pills available.”

Marvelon was introduced by ZNFPC in 2015 to complement the Control Pill following donors’ failure to procure the latter at the end of 2014.

The drug is a monophasic pill and each of the 21 tablets has the same dose of hormones in it. Marvelon has been hailed as the most reliable methods of contraception on correct usage by health officials.

“It has several advantages over other methods of contraception such as the fact that once one stops using the pill, they are able to become pregnant. Marvelon suppresses the natural hormone cycle, making it a very effective contraceptive method,” said an expert.

The pill reduces period pain intensity or may lessen or cease them. – The Chronicle

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