Economy and birth control methods
Due to the economic situation in the country, there is a reported increase in use of contraceptives. Apparently, more women are embracing the idea of birth control, so as to take charge of their reproductive system. Young parents now see the need to consult their doctors for the most suitable birth control methods.
Birth control methods range from the emergency contraceptive morning after pill to the hormonal ones, such as Birth control shot, Contraceptive patch, IUD and Implant, among others.
There are also the irreversible methods, otherwise known as permanent contraception methods, which include tubal implants and vasectomy. Aside medically approved birth control methods, there are some that are self-administered and traditional birth control methods. However, the efficacy of these methods cannot be guaranteed, because while some people have testified that they work perfectly for them, others have blamed them for unwanted pregnancies. Some even claim they can be harmful to the body.
Some of these traditional methods are so crude that it is obvious they pose serious health risks to users, which sometimes expose the body to opportunistic infections.
Mrs. Akah Sandra, a banker said she did not believe she needed birth control, until she kept going on maternity leave, which did not go down well with the bank management.
“After I got married, I told myself I would not use birth control,” she said. “But when you work in a bank, you cannot afford to keep going on maternity leave. There is so much to do and so little time to keep going on breaks. So, when I realised I could lose my job and with the economic situation in the country, I had to see a family planning doctor.”
Adebayo Olajumoke, a registered nurse and family planning expert, who runs a blog that counsels women on birth controls and childbirth, said there is an increase in the use of birth control, as more women are gradually getting enlightened on the need to know about their reproductive health.
“There has been an increase in the use of contraceptives since 2014, which rose from 23 percent to 30 percent. This is due to the increasing awareness and acceptance among women, as they now take control of their reproductive health. Despite the increase, however, there are still lots of unmet need regarding contraceptive use. There are a lot of factors to address in order to meet these unmet needs, such as the patriarchal system in Nigeria, which prevents women from having control over their reproductive health,” she said.
Addressing the issue of side effects and the misconceptions surrounding birth control usage, she said: “Like every other drug a person takes, there are side effects, hence, with birth controls there are also side effects. But these side effects depend on which method was used and the side effects are peculiar to the hormonal methods.
“Some of the side effects include, a mild headache, slight weight gain, or changes in menstrual pattern. The side effects are usually not dangerous and are temporary. Women are, therefore, advised to report any of these symptoms to their health providers, when they experience it. The vast majority of women experience no adverse effect.
“Birth control usage can be quite tricky in reference to the hormonal methods, as it reduces the risk of ovarian cancers, while slightly increasing the risk of developing breast cancer. There is no evidence that long-term use of contraceptives can cause infertility. It is advised that women discuss their fears and concerns with their health provider and use a method suitable to them.
“There is no best birth control method. There are certain factors that determine which contraceptive method best suits an individual, such as age, number of children, or existing medical conditions. Women would need to discuss with their health provider to know which suits them best,” she said.