Chen Ching-hui, a doctor in Taipei Medical University Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, says that teenage girls’ menstrual cycles are more irregular than an adult’s, making it easy to neglect one’s situation and that this is the reason for many unexpected pregnancies. Every year obstetricians and gynecologists in Taiwan prescribe tens of thousands of abortion pills to pregnant teenagers. Sighing with emotion, Chen says that gynecologists are inherently meant to discourage people from having abortions, and that every year on Sept. 26 World Contraception Day is supposed to remind everyone about the importance of contraception.
Chen says that in European countries such as Germany and France more than 50 percent of teenagers are having sex, while that number is only 20 to 30 percent in Taiwan. Despite that, the rate of abortion in Taiwan is seven times that of Germany and France, which shows just how ineffective sex education in Taiwan is and that teenagers lack knowledge about contraception and have nowhere to turn. Becoming pregnant unexpectedly without ways to financially support themselves, young mothers have no means to take care of the child and have a difficult time staying in school or getting a job.
Taiwanese teenagers get most of their knowledge about contraception from the Internet, and mistakenly assume that safe period calculation methods or coitus interruptus is sufficient protection, or that taking birth control pills will cause cancer, or make them barren or gain weight. All of these assumptions are unsafe or simply ways of thinking and methods that are wrong, Chen says. The condom-pill method — the male wears condoms and the female takes birth control — is currently considered to be the most effective contraceptive method among medical professionals, preventing both the transmission of venereal diseases and avoiding pregnancy.
To actively combat this issue and help teenagers answer all their perplexing questions regarding sex and contraception, the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology recently started a Web site specifically aimed at providing counseling online for teenagers seeking information about contraception (www.8181.org.tw). The site provides accurate sex education info and a platform where medical professionals can offer replies to messages, as well as a navigable guide on contraception and useful medical and pharmaceutical organizations.
A printed version of the guide is available at most medical providers, and there is a free 24-hour hotline that provides professional counseling (0800-25-8181).
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)
1. discourage v.
勸阻；打消 (quan4 zu3; da3 xiao1)
例: The risk of imminent death should be enough to discourage you from such risky behavior.
2. ineffective adj.
(wu2 xiao4 guo3 de5; bu4 qi3 zuo4 yong4 de5)
例: Some argue that history has already proven that prohibition against certain drugs is ineffective.
3. barren adj.
不生育的；不妊的 (bu4 sheng1 yu4 de5; bu2 ren4 de5)
例: Technology is always coming up with new ways to help barren women get pregnant.
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