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Our parents today were teenagers many years ago. They had almost similar experiences we are having today as far as our sexuality and reproductive health is concerned. Some of them waded through this period with a bit more guidance at the time to bring us into the world. Reproductive health issues are nothing new. The term reproductive health implies that you are able to have a responsible and safe sex life with the capacity to become a parent one day and also the freedom to choose if and when you want to be one.

As a teenager your reproductive health presents a myriad of challenges, as it is a transitional period of growth from childhood to adulthood. This transitional period is marked by not only physical challenges but also emotional, mental, psychological and social challenges that demand special attention for all of us. For instance, while everyone else expects you to be young in every way you feel old enough to make your own decisions and chart your personal destiny as far as your health and wellbeing is concern. Your heart will tell you, ‘its ok…we love each other, that is our decision and we think we are ready for all the consequences.’ For sure the consequences do turn up eventually, unintended pregnancies, risky abortions, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), HIV & AIDs the list of realities can be endless.

Sometimes the impact is immediate, for young girls you must take some time away from your friends to care for your baby. Those who do not come from supportive environments may end up being disowned or treated harshly by parents, friends, relatives and even the school authorities. Your health is likely to deteriorate preventing you from achieving your highest potential in the class or in your outdoor activities. But this should not always be the case. As a young person you have every right to be happy with your choices but this right must come with responsibility where you seek and get information on what is good for you and those around you. You must be able to think ahead about your future and that of the boy or girl you like and what you both expect from it.

Your reproductive health is important today as it will be ten years from now when you will finally be ready to make certain decisions about your life including on parenthood. The government has thus come up with the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy (NASRH) to enable a conducive environment through which you can access information on your sexual and reproductive health, enhance access to reproductive services that are friendly to you and strengthen your participation in decision making on the issues that affect you. At the moment, reproductive health services can be accessed 24/7 at the county level where teenagers affected by unintended pregnancies and/or sexual abuse channels to access medical treatment, care, counselling and other related services as forms of intervention.

Indeed, you are all grown physically but it may take some time before you are ready for life from a psychological, emotionally or even economic perspective (yes…dealing with reproductive issues needs some money). Take this growth period and a learning period as well and make the best out of it for your future engagements.

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