FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Birth control

Which birth control is right for me?

Selecting a birth control method should be done in consultation with a physician or trained provider. DKT Ethiopia distributes a number of birth control methods, ranging from oral contraceptive pills (OCP), which are taken daily, to intra-uterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs), which, when inserted properly, can provide 5 - 8 years of protection from pregnancy. Talk to your provider about which method is best for you.
 

What is an IUD?

An intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUCD or IUD) is a T-shaped plastic device that is wrapped in copper or containing hormones that is inserted into the uterus. IUDs prevent pregnancy by preventing fertilization of the egg by damaging or killing sperm. IUD insertion is performed by a trained provider and only takes a few minutes. IUDs can stay in place for 10 years. Globally, the IUD is the second most popular form of birth control in the developing world. In Ethiopia, the IUD is an increasingly popular method of birth control that is also supported by the Government.
 

What is emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is birth control that prevents pregnancy after sex, which is why it is sometimes called "the morning after pill". In Ethiopia, DKT distributes emergency contraceptives under the brand name Postpill. Postpill should be taken within 72 hours of sex. While Posptill reduces the chance of pregnancy, it is not as effective as birth control that's used before or during sex, like the pill or condoms. As such, Postpill should not be used as the only protection against pregnancy.
 

Where can I get birth control or Postpillemergency contraceptives?

Oral contraceptive pills and Postpill emergency contraceptives are available over-the-counter in pharmaceutical and clinical outlets throughout Ethiopia. You do not need a prescription. However, it's important to check with a physician or trained health provider to be sure you get the birth control method that's right for you.
 

Can I use pills to eliminate my period?

Yes, birth control pills can be used to reduce or eliminate monthly bleeding. Pills help prevent hormonal fluctuations that are responsible for bleeding, cramping, headaches and other discomforts associated with your period. You also may find that you like the convenience of not having a period during important events. Unscheduled bleeding and spotting often occur during the first few months of using birth control pills, which generally goes away with continued use, though some women continue to have unscheduled bleeding.
 

What if I stop taking pills, but my period doesn't resume?

If you don't get a period for several months, you may have what's known as post-pill amenorrhea, which prevents your body from making hormones involved in ovulation and menstruation. When you stop taking the pill, it can take some time for your body to return to normal production of these hormones. Typically, your period should start again within three months, but some women may not have a period for many months. If you don't have a period within three months, check with your provider.
 

What happens if you take birth control pills while you're pregnant?

If you continued taking your birth control pill because you didn't realize you were pregnant, don't be scared. There's very little evidence that exposure to the hormones in birth control pills causes birth defects. Once you learn that you're pregnant, stop taking the birth control pill.
 

I missed taking my pills - what should I do?

If you just missed one, take it as soon as you remember. If you don't remember until the next day, take 2 pills that day. If you forget to take your pills for 2 days, take 2 pills the day you remember and 2 pills the next day. You will then be back on schedule.
 
If you miss more than 2 birth control pills, talk to a physician or trained provider.
 

I am ready to become pregnant - what should I do?

Most common birth control methods are reversible, meaning you are able to become pregnant once you discontinue the method. Approximately 85% of women can become pregnant within 12 months of discontinuing their method, except in the case of injectable contraceptives, which can take up to six (6) months longer (18 months total).
 

HIV/AIDS and STIs

Do condoms protect against sexually transmitted infections and HIV?

Yes. When used correctly and consistently, condoms are an effective means of preventing transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Condoms form a physical barrier that prevents viruses like HIV and human papilloma virus (HPV or herpes) as well as bacteria like gonorrhea and syphillis from passing from one individual to another during sexual contact.
 

Is there a 100% effective way to prevent sexual transmission of HIV and STIs?

Only abstinence is 100% effective in preventing sexual transmission of HIV and STIs. Using a latex male condom or a female condom can greatly reduce, but not eliminate, HIV and STI transmission.
 

Which condom brand is the best?

DKT markets several brands of condoms, including Hiwot Trust, Sensation, and Members Only. All DKT condoms are tested extensively internationally and within Ethiopia and all are imported, stored and distributed to the highest standards. No DKT condom is superior, therefore, in terms of quality, though different brands have scent and other variations preferred by consumers.
 

Can I use a condom more than once?

No. Only use a condom once and then discard it. Condoms are not safe to use more than one time.
 

My condom broke - what do I do?

If your condom breaks, stop sexual intercourse immediately. Women should urinate to wash away any sperm that may be near the urethra. They should also squat down or, while sitting on the toilet, flex their vaginal muscles to push out any sperm. They can then gently wash the outside of their genitals to clear away sperm. It may also be necessary to seek emergency contraception if another form of birth control is not being used. Before resuming sexual activity, a new condom should be placed on the penis.
 

What is the female condom?

The female condom is a pouch made of synthetic nitrile or polyurethane that is used during intercourse to prevent pregnancy and reduce STI transmission. It has flexible rings at each end - just before intercourse, it is inserted into the vagina or anus. The ring at the closed end holds the pouch in the vagina. The ring at the open end stays outside the vaginal opening during intercourse.
 

Do birth control methods other than condoms prevent HIV and STI transmission?

No. Only condoms prevent the transmission of HIV and STIs. Birth control only prevents pregnancy, not HIV and STI transmission. Many people use condoms along with a preferred birth control to prevent the transmission of HIV and STIs as well as pregnancy.
 

Should I use a condom for oral sex?

Yes. Oral sex isn’t necessarily safe sex. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes can be transmitted from mouth to genitals and vice versa, especially if there is an open sore.
 

About DKT

What does "DKT" stand for?

The letters "DKT" are the initials of Dharmendra Kumar Tyagi, better known as Deep Tyagi or DK Tyagi (1928–1969), who was an Assistant Commissioner for the Indian Family Planning program until his death in 1969. DK Tyagi was an early pioneer of family planning in India under the premierships of Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and the initial period of Indira Gandhi. Phil Harvey, the founder of DKT International, who worked with DKT Tyagi in India in the 1960s, was influenced by his leadership and subsequently named the organization he founded in 1989 after Mr. Tyagi.
 

Is DKT only in Ethiopia?

No. DKT Ethiopia is one of 22 DKT International Country Offices spread across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
 

Is DKT a non-profit or business?

DKT International is registered in the United States as a 501.c.3, meaning the organization is legally a non-profit. That said, the organization's 22 country offices generate substantial revenue from the sale of products - USD$ 101 million in 2015. This revenue is reinvested into country programs, allowing DKT to service more people with HIV/AIDS, family planning and reproductive health products. Some offices are 100% financially sustainable and a few have even used their profits to provide seed money for start-up programs in other countries.
 

What is "social marketing"?

Social marketing is the use of commercial infrastructure - distribution, brands, advertising - with the help of donor funding to provide socially desirable products that might not be available through purely commercial channels. In Ethiopia, DKT receives funding from donors like the Department for International Development (DFID) and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which the organization uses to procure, distribute, and promote family planning and reproductive health commodities.
 
This video provides an excellent overview on social marketing as well as DKT International's Founder, Mr. Phil Harvey.
 

 

Updated 28 December 2015