Whether we like to believe it or not, sexuality influences our lives to a great extent.

In the pharmacy, especially in M-KEM’s Women’s Health Clinic, pharmacists and nursing sisters deal with the norm as well as the problems associated with sexuality such as contraception, STD’s, education and counselling.

The advent of the ‘morning after pill’ has created an awareness of the reckless attitude that some people have towards the consequences of their actions.

If pregnancy is the only fear, are we as professionals performing a suitable function in educating the public?

In this short article it is only possible to focus on some of the main aspects involved.

The youth and sexuality:
Due to the subject matter we unfortunately tend to avoid discussion regarding certain issues. Proper education would definitely avoid many of the pitfalls experienced. A child would usually not fall prey to peer pressure or even to an unsuspecting paedophile if ‘armed’ with the facts. Do not think for a moment that a child of 4 years cannot understand or assimilate the necessary information. As adults, we could find it difficult, or be unaware of the circumstances that our offspring are faced with.

Many alternatives are available. Unfortunately it is assumed that the user is fully informed as to the usage. Incorrect usage results in problems or even disaster, especially with regard to condoms. Haphazard use of the ‘morning after pill’ has resulted in recklessness and it is important to note that a percentage of people requesting the ‘morning after pill’ don’t even require it, hence, M-KEM’s reluctance to ‘dish them out like smarties’.

STDs and STIs:
Vaccinations are available which will prevent certain strains of the herpes virus – available for both males and females. Tests are available for those intending to assume sexual behaviour. It should never be assumed that one’s intended partner is disease / infection free. Each of us must be responsible for our own health.

ED (erectile dysfunction):
Modern day living, as well as the use of prescribed medication has resulted in ED becoming prevalent in men of all ages. Help is available by way of counselling or medication. Without being alarmist, I would like to bring to attention the fact that this could be the 1st symptom
of something more serious occurring in the body therefore self medication should be the last alternative. Medical advice is definitely advised as a 1st option.

Mr M