Tuesday, 9 October 2018

We No Longer Deny Our Husbands Sex, Kudos To Family Planning – Lagos Mothers


Chioma Umeha

When Mrs. Taiwo Olubunmi, a 42-year- old mother was counselled to adopt family planning two years ago after the delivery of her fourth child, it was like a ‘hard pill to swallow.’
Bunmi as she is fondly called by acquaintances was skeptical following many negative stories that she has heard about the different methods of family planning.
In some communities in Africa, Nigeria included, misconceptions and skepticisms about the use of family planning or child spacing are still rife.
Some of the fallacies include that use of family planning make women promiscuous, gain excess weight, bleed heavily, causes cancer etc.
This also extended to sexual relationship where some couples erroneously believe that family planning would deprive them of sexual pleasure.
Some even believe that family planning can make a woman not to get pregnant again, if she desires to. There are women who also believe they cannot use family planning as long as they are breastfeeding.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines family planning as something that “allows individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary infertility.”
‘I have nothing to worry about unplanned pregnancy’
The practice which has many ‘unfounded’ accompanying negative rumors and myths, having inflicted fear on Bunmi, made her initially unwilling to embrace the modern contraceptive use.
Today, the happy mother of four children says that she has no regret accepting family planning and is now enjoying both her family and sex life.
She is among many women who have not only overcome the fears of age-long myths about family planning, but have turned advocates, preaching the benefits of the practice in Alapere, Agoyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos state.
Bunmi further says that she is delighted with the use of implant method of family planning. Speaking with DAILY INDEPENDENT during a recent field trip to the area organised by Pathfinder International, she discloses, “I have been enjoying sex with my husband without fear of getting pregnant since I started using the implant method of family planning. I now have peace of mind unlike before, and knowing that I have nothing to worry about unplanned pregnancy.
“All these are possible because my husband supported this family planning process. It is our right to decide the number of children that we want to have. ”
The same scenario is playing out in the case of Mrs. Adeyemi Titilope, a mother of two. The highly elated accountant who works with a firm in Lagos told DAILY INDEPENDENT that she has been on the implant method of family planning, since the past six months.
She declares, “I was introduced to the implant method at the Primary Health Care Centre, Mascara, in Alapere, Ikosi Agoyi-ketu. Some tests were carried out before the implant was inserted on my arm.
Like Bunmi, Titilope also said that family planning has brought sexual bliss to her home.
Clearly expressing fulfilment, she further says, “Although, one month after the insertion, I saw some blood droppings and so I went back to the provider who introduced me to family planning and I was told it’s just for a while. Right now, I am fine. I enjoy every style and position of sexual intimacy with my husband without complaining.”

‘I now enjoy sex with my husband’
Also, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ajewole acknowledged that the use of contraceptive method has saved her and her husband from having more children than they could cater for.
The visibly elated, Toyin as fondly called by relatives reveals, “You can see I have six children already which is even too much. When I had my sixth child, one matron came to me and told me to use family planning otherwise I would soon give birth to the seventh one. I said, God forbid, the sixth one was even a mistake.
“But, because I get pregnant easily, I was afraid and had to listen to the matron who is a retired nurse. The matron counselled me and then introduced me to the Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD), assuring me that it would last longer,” she adds.
IUCD is a long acting reversible contraception that goes into the uterus.
Toyin, a business woman further admits, “Though I was having some side effects from it initially, I am happy for it because my body has adjusted to it. Thanks to the matron as I now enjoy sex with my husband without fear of getting pregnant.”
‘Fear of unplanned pregnancy and abortion had reduced’
Another user, Oresanya Mary, says, “Fear of unplanned pregnancy and abortion had reduced since I began to use family planning.
Obviously excited, she confesses, “Although, my husband was not in support of me doing family planning, right now I am closer to my husband than I use to be, that is, I do not deny him of his marital right which is sex.”
Researchers have largely debunked the suppositions concerning family planning. Studies have shown that infants born to women who conceived less than six months after giving birth had a 40 per cent increased risk of being born prematurely and a 61 per cent increased risk of low birth weight as compared with infants born to mothers who gave birth after 18 months or two years between pregnancies.
The visibly elated, Toyin as fondly called by relatives reveals, “You can see I have six children already which is even too much. When I had my sixth child, one matron came to me and told me to use family planning otherwise I would soon give birth to the seventh one. I said, God forbid, the sixth one was even a mistake.
“But, because I get pregnant easily, I was afraid and had to listen to the matron who is a retired nurse. The matron counselled me and then introduced me to the Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD), assuring me that it would last longer,” she adds.
IUCD is a long acting reversible contraception that goes into the uterus.
Toyin, a business woman further admits, “Though I was having some side effects from it initially, I am happy for it because my body has adjusted to it. Thanks to the matron as I now enjoy sex with my husband without fear of getting pregnant.”

 ‘I am now closer to my husband’
Another user, Oresanya Mary, says, “Fear of unplanned pregnancy and abortion had reduced since I began to use family planning.
Obviously excited, she confesses, “Although, my husband was not in support of me doing family planning, right now I am closer to my husband than I use to be, that is, I do not deny him of his marital right which is sex.”
Researchers have largely debunked the suppositions concerning family planning. Studies have shown that infants born to women who conceived less than six months after giving birth had a 40 per cent increased risk of being born prematurely and a 61 per cent increased risk of low birth weight as compared with infants born to mothers who gave birth after 18 months or two years between pregnancies.
‘Enlightenment helped me’
Another mother of three, Mrs. Usman Aishat, confirms this, “Before family planning, I do check time and calculate days for my husband to meet with me just because of the fear of unwanted pregnancy. But, since I started using family planning, I do not check, I just give it to my husband the way he wants because I know nothing will happen.”
Recently, Dr. Jide Idris, the Commissioner for Health, Lagos state, expressed big concern over misconceptions about family planning, insisting it has remained a major barrier to the uptake of FP services in the state.




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