Contraception is the process of stopping a man/woman/couple from achieving pregnancy until he/she/they so desire. It is a really a means to an end not an end in itself. Family planning is the use of contraception to space the children and regulate the number of children while trying to ensure the couple enjoy sex.
In our society the women are the major users of contraceptives, and the permanent forms of contraceptives are majorly done by women. Now before I get ahead of myself there are various types of contraception methods, like condoms -male and female.
The female condoms are not so popular, a discussion for another day- intrauterine device -popularly called coil- daily pills, injectable contraceptives and the permanent one that involves ‘tying’ of the tubes in women and in men.
So during my ward round in the postnatal ward, (a ward where women who just gave birth are admitted) a woman asked me what is the best from of contraception since she had four children before she mistakenly got pregnant again, so I delved into the various types of contraceptives and their merits and demerits, I felt that was an opportunity to educate all the women present there at once so I won’t have to repeat it all over again at each bedside so I stood in the middle of the ward and delivered the lecture.
The interesting part of the whole scenario was when I got to the aspect of male contraceptive, vasectomy and I told the women it is preferable because it’s easier and the woman does not have to have ugly scars on their abdomen, since we don’t do minimal invasive surgeries. Suddenly there was an uproar, I was shocked I wondered what I said that caused such response, a woman said “oh! So the man can be sleeping around abi? No o! na me go do the operation, make I dey sure if he dey play the field at least one day one day the girl do get belle!” I simply asked her if she does not trust her husband. Her response was not any less shocking, “abeg oga doctor you be man, you wan tell me the thing no dey do you like make you do am with another woman sometime if no be say you dey fear she fit get belle?” I laughed and told her that’s why there are condoms to protect against impregnating the woman and contracting other sexually transmitted disease.
Another woman in the ward responded, “Which condom, una men dey gree use am? Una go complain say the thing no sweet like if you no use am, no be so I take get belle again, abegi talk something else.” Obviously I said, you women don’t trust your husbands, if not you won’t be against them doing a vasectomy since you have completed the family.
I asked them if they feel their husbands don’t get scared when they the women tie their tubes, if their husbands are not afraid of them ‘playing the field’. Another woman retorted, “una men think say na only una the thing dey catch every time to do, e dey catch we women too but if we do the things una men dey do, dem go stone us and drive us out of our husbands home, na because we fit control ourselves.” One of the women who had been quite all this while, asked how she can convince her husband to accept her using contraceptives, she has been to the labour room four (4) times in the last 6 years and she is tired!
And that opened up stories from other women, how they secretly used pills and aborted pregnancies because their husbands were not listening to their cries of being tired of getting pregnant or their need to rest awhile and pursue a career too.
I told the women when they are coming for the postnatal clinic they should come with their husbands so we can discuss the various issues and better educate both of them on contraception and benefit of family planning.
My people the first couple I saw was not funny o! the man said na him wife dey wan do every time so she go fit born plenty pikin so he won’t have enough money to spend on another woman outside!! I looked at the man and asked if he had given his wife any reason to doubt his fidelity?
I await the response to that question till date my people.