The advocacy on the use of contraceptive among sexually active women in Nigeria is beginning to yield results as more women now say they have embraced the various methods.
Contraceptive use is a conscious effort by a person to use methods, devices or drugs to reduce or prevent unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.
Common contraceptives options include injectable contraceptives, oral contraceptive pills, condoms, implants, and intrauterine device, IUDs.
A recent survey carried out by MICS5 showed that the use of any contraceptive among sexually active Nigerian women has oscillated between 13 -30 percent. In 2014, 23 percent of women used contraceptives. In 2015, it moved up to 30 .4 percent and fell again to 24 percent in 2016.
However, women interviewed by THE WHISTLER in Abuja seemed knowledgeable about the different contraceptive methods available, although many said they preferred the injectable contraceptive.
Miss Ayomide Badmus, a civil servant, said she uses contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, adding that it has been very efficient despite its side effects.
She further added that she takes the injections every two months, as it loses its effect after eight weeks.
“Currently, I am on the three-month injection method called Noristerat to prevent me from pregnancy. And I feel it works because I have not been pregnant since I got introduced to it.
“The only issue I have with the injection is that it has side effects. It makes me gain tummy and body fat which I hate.”
On her part, a perfumer who spoke to our correspondent applauded the government for its work to ensure proper family planning in the country, adding that government hospitals give contraceptives for free.
“I personally use contraceptives, the implants called Implanol that is inserted in the hand.”
The young married woman who expressed confidence in contraceptives said the implanted type makes her comfortable and that she allows her husband have sex with her without the fear of pregnancy.
“I will say since I started using it in 2018, after my third child I have not had any course to be worried, in fact whenever my husband comes I am free like a bed because I know say belle no go come,” she said in pidgen English, adding that she no longer had to go through the stress of counting her safe period.
Asked if more women are embracing the birth control practice she said “Yes, many Nigerian women are afraid of large families.
“Most of my friends are using the implant method because they no longer want to have kids but at the same time want to satisfy their husband.”
Sharing her experience, an entrepreneur who runs a fashion house said she often use contraceptives but had to stop due to the nasty issues of bleeding and weight gain with the injection type.
“I usually use the IUD type but I had to stop because I had to deal with serious bleeding issues that affected my sex life with my husband because anytime we are done having sex I noticed that I always bled, so I had to stop.”
Mrs. Stella Jacob, who was asked if she uses contraceptives, said yes as she needed a way to fully satisfy her husband without the fear of having more children.
“I use Corper T as my contraceptive. I’ve used it for over a year now and it has been very effective for me.
“It was my friend that recommended it to me because I needed an alternative method in other not to get pregnant and to be able to satisfy my husband because I can’t be giving him excuses every time, now all I need do is remove it whenever I want to take in,” she said.
Chidinma Okafor, a trader, also said she has gotten so familiar with the use of contraceptive to prevent pregnancy, adding that it helps her avoid starving her husband of sex.
“Well, I think family planning is very important for couples who want to control the number of children they have. For me, I used Corper T at a point, but I was experiencing pains and bleeding, so I had to change it.
“ I had to find a better solution to satisfy my husband in bed because I could not continue starving him of his food so I had to take injections and I’m just fine,” she said.
Blessing Ali, a banker said she and her husband had always relied on counting her menstrual date to prevent pregnancy but had to switch to the use of injections because her menstrual dates started “fluctuating.”
“For my family planning, I used to count my free days but I had to start taking injections because I noticed a fluctuation in my period date so I did not want any rough play.
“I take it once every two month and I think it is very effective for me and have made my husband enjoy sex without the fear of getting pregnant. I will use it until we are ready to have another child,” she said.
“The injection is much easier and less stressful compared to other methods and it is more effective compared to the oral pills because it does not require daily intake.
“I actually think more women are using it but only in the educated circles. Uneducated women still want to give birth to a football team, so I believe a lot more advocacy should be done.”
The medical practitioner, however, urged couples to key into the family planning methods fully to further reduce the number of uneducated children
“Too many children results in poor education due to financial constraints and this leads to increased uneducated adults which in the long run reduced contraceptive intake.
“In this our economy, women honestly shouldn’t give birth to more than three children and two for the average homes,” he advised.