Spousal Support for Family Planning

Kemi and Kunle Farinu both knew what spousal support for family planning entails and were well prepared before settling down into marriage.

Months after their wedding, Kemi then 28, had their first son and with Kunle’s support, opted for the pills though not with medical advice.

“A number of my friends back then were on pills and naturally, I thought since it was the common contraceptive I’d Known, I adopted it as my mode of family planning and of course, it worked for me for five years till I was ready to try another pregnancy”, Kemi told Healthstyleplus.

“The pill helped me stabilized in my new career which I had just secured with Lagos State at the time and also gave me sufficient time to nurture my son as a civil servant”, said Kemi who proudly shared her experience with journalists during a field trip organised by Pathfinder International to Island Maternity, Lagos.

She noted, “After five years of successfully taking the pills my husband and I agreed to increase our family and since I work at the hospital, I sought the expertise of Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who advised I go off the pills for some time to prepare my body for conception, said Kemi.

“Six months later, I became pregnant and soon had our second son that was in 2007. We then decided we were done”, the proud woman confided in our Correspondent.

It is noteworthy that Kemi and Kunle had before marriage also agreed to two children “regardless of their sex”.

According to Kemi the fact that they had two sons did not deter them from breaking the family planning agreement.

They kicked off another family planning process, while also enjoying their regular sexual relationships, and putting attention on raising their boys.

“This time, I decided to use the injectable, another form of birth control. But I realized while it lasted, I was having side effects from it.

“I began to gain weight, while my menstrual flow became heavier than normal. This got my husband and me apprehensive”.

After using the injectable for seven years, she went to see her Gynaecologist who explained that the side effects she was experiencing was as a result of her age. She was then 40 years old.

“I was then placed on Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCP), a long acting reversible contraception that goes into the uterus”, said Kemi.

With her current use of IUCD in the last four years, said life for her and the family has only just begun to be beautiful.

“My spousal support for a robust family planning has allowed me to go back to School for another degree at the Lagos State University Distant Learning Programme and my two sons now 16 and 11 respectively are enjoying the attention of my husband and me with less stress”.

Kemi is not only having the dream of her life. A closer look at her one could think she is 30 years old, yet she is 44 years old.

“I look this way not because of any special regime, but because of the peace of mind, and knowing that I have nothing to worry about my reproductive life. All these are possible because my husband supported this family planning process,” she said.

Really, Kemi is just one among 1.44 million Nigerian women of reproductive age who have successfully used family planning.

In Lagos State alone only 48 out of every 100 women use a modern method of contraception a figure far more than 15 out of every 100 women in the country.

According to the National Demographic Health Survey (2013), there are about 5m women of reproductive age in Lagos State and the current contraceptive prevalent rate is 26.4% which means 26 out of every 100 are on contraceptives with only 48 of every 100 women using modern method of contraception.

There are eight women out of every 100 who need a form of family planning method do not have access for a number of reasons including non-availability of commodity at the time of need.

However Lagos State has a target to meet the need of every 74 women out of 100 who will use modern method of contraceptives by year 2020.

Family Planning has been proven to have limitless benefits to every woman who adopts any of the method.

One of the benefits of family planning include healthy mothers and babies as risky pregnancies can be avoided. Fewer children mean more food for each child.

Deputy Director Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services, Lagos State Dr. Saidat Okaga noted, “Family planning can also help partners enjoy sex more, because there would be no fear of unwanted pregnancy”.

This fact was corroborated by Kemi who told our reporter, “Since I have been using Family Planning method, I have never been afraid to get pregnant.

“For four years since I have been on IUCD, my husband and I have always laughed over our initial fear that IUCD could be painful and hinder sex enjoyment “boosted Kemi.



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