Some residents of Lagos have raised concerns over the increasing cost of condoms, saying it will lead to unsafe sex and unintended pregnancies among citizens.
The residents spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
NAN reports that there are different types and brands of condoms, and the best are often determined by their quality, durability, level of comfort and protection they offer.
Some condom brands include Durex, Fiesta, Kiss, Rough Rider and Gold Circle, among others.
Checks at some pharmacies showed that prices of condoms had increased by 50 to 200 per cent when compared to their prices last year.
The residents said that access to affordable contraceptives was critical in ensuring the health of both partners, protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and planning the desired pregnancy.
A banker, Felix Atuche, said the increasing price of condoms had made him resort to withdrawal methods, hoping it wouldn’t lead to pregnancy.
“We got married two months ago, and my wife and I are currently undertaking our master’s degree, so pregnancy has to wait about two years. I usually use the Durex Fetherlite Elite condom because it heightens the feelings between partners, just like skin-to-skin.
“I used to buy the pack for N1,900, but now it goes for N2,500 to N3,500, depending on the pharmacy I buy from. The cost is getting unaffordable because of the many packs I need.
I resorted to the withdrawal method, but my wife has been avoiding sex with me because she’s scared of getting pregnant,” he said.
Similarly, Monisola Ajayi, a businesswoman, said that she prioritised her sexual health by ensuring that she used female condoms during sexual intercourse.
She said: “A few years ago, I contracted STIs from my husband. I got treated and forgave him, but the incident left a scar on my heart, so I always ensured I used a condom to protect myself. Female condoms are available but more expensive than male condoms. Ten pieces of Fc2 vaginal condom go for over N4,200 now, before it was around N2,000’’.
“If I don’t have a condom, then no show for Oga except he buys it for me. The hardship in the country is negatively affecting our sexual health,” she said.
Also, a youth corps member, Celestine Adesola, said the rising cost of condoms exposed many youths to unsafe sex, which could increase sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
She said: “Valentine’s celebration is this week, and some parents would be shocked if they knew the unimaginable and risky practices their teens and youths want to indulge in for fun.
“I would advise that enlightenment should be intensified among teens and youths. Also, non-governmental organisations should increase the distribution of free condoms to protect the health of youths,” Mrs Adesola said.
Commenting, Michael Achoji, a pharmacist, said the increase in condom prices was impacted by rising inflation, cost of production, and foreign exchange rates.
Mr Achoji appealed to the Federal Government to prioritise sexual and reproductive health issues through sustained interventions that would ensure access to and affordability of contraceptives.