On September 26, every year, the world contraception day is celebrated to improve awareness about contraception and help people make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health.
Most persons of reproductive age in Nigeria are yet to imbibe the culture of using contraception also known as family planning to prevent unplanned pregnancy, because the topic is not yet cultural accepted especially among the unmarried.
The topic has remained a hush subject among many sexually active young women who might be scorned by health workers if they walk in health facilities to seek the service.
A report by the 2017 Nigeria Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey shows that there are still high unmet needs of contraceptive services and products in Nigeria.
Also, according to WHO, the unmet needs for contraception remain too high.
This inequity is fuelled by both a growing population, and a shortage of family planning services.
In Africa, 24.2 per cent of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for modern contraception. In Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean – regions with relatively high contraceptive prevalence – the levels of unmet need are 10.2 per cent and 10.7 per cent respectively.
The world contraception day is meant to highlight the importance of postpartum family planning to prevent new mothers from getting pregnant within the first 12 months following child birth.
The vision is to have a society where every pregnancy is wanted.
Here are five easy and cheap forms of family planning methods to assist women prevent unplanned pregnancies
Tthere are progestogen only injectables and monthly injectables or combined injectable contraceptives (CIC).
The monthly injections are injected into the muscle, and contain estrogen and progestogen’ while the progesterone injection is injected into the muscle or under the skin every two or three months, depending on the product.
They are 95 to 99 per cent effective if used correctly.
2. Intrauterine device (IUD)- Copper containing or levonorgestrel.
These are almost two similar methods. The copper containing one is a small flexible plastic device containing copper sleeves or wire that is inserted into the uterus.
The copper component damages sperm and prevents it from meeting the egg and it is 99 per cent effective.
The IUD levonorgestrel is a T-shaped plastic device inserted into the uterus that steadily releases small amounts of levonorgestrel each day.
This works by thickening cervical mucus to block the sperm and egg from meeting.
3. Implants– These are small, flexible rods or capsules placed under the skin of the upper arm. It contains progestogen hormone only.
It works by thickening cervical mucus to block sperms and egg from meeting and prevents ovulation. It is 99 per cent effective.
However, it must be inserted and removed by a healthcare provider. It can be used for three–five years depending on the implant; irregular vaginal bleeding common but not harmful.
4. Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) – This is a temporary contraception for new mothers whose monthly bleeding/period has not returned. To maintain the status quo, it requires exclusive or full breastfeeding day and night of an infant less than six months old.
This prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries. It is 99 per cent effective and consistent when used correctly.
5. Progestogen-only pills (POPs) or “the minipill” – These are mostly pills commonly sold across the counter. It contains only progestogen hormone, not estrogen.
It works by thickening cervical mucus to block sperm and egg from meeting and prevents ovulation. It is 99 per cent effective if used according to prescription. It can be used while breastfeeding; must be taken at the same time each day.
Five Facts On Family Planning
1. According to World Health Organisation, about 214 million women of reproductive age in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy are not using any modern contraceptive method.
2. Some family planning methods such as condoms help prevent sexual transmitted diseases such as HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases.
3. Family planning/usage of contraception reduces need for and risk of unsafe abortion.
4. Family planning helps space child birth and reduces maternal and child mortality
5. It gives people the right to determine how many children they want.
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