Family Planning – Mystery in Households…

Although many welcome it, the phenomenon is hardly practiced by couples for various reasons.

Here is the story of a Yaounde-based couple who are married for over ten years now with eight children. Both teachers in the secondary education sector, the youngest of their children is three months old and the eldest 13 years. The last three children are yet to reach school age. Those living around the couple say before one realises the woman has given birth, she is already pregnant again. This has caused many observers to question why the woman, who should be in her early thirties, does not seem to care about using any birth control method.

Years back, many couples claimed not to be informed about birth control methods. But today, it is realised that even those enlightened are not for it. Another couple (both intellectuals) at the Biyem-Assi neighbourhood in Yaounde just had their fifth child after four years in marriage. The woman almost lost her life due to excess bleeding after giving birth. Vivian M, a mother of two girls says some couples mostly those in the African culture, are still shy to discuss anything sex-related. As such, family planning is out of topic.

Vivian further notes that some couples are too concerned about the side effects of the various family planning methods and rather do the natural method which most often fails them leading to pregnancy. Such is the case with a woman, Lydia L. in Yaounde. While other women complained of weight gain due to the use of contraceptives, Lydia narrated how she was constantly bleeding when she implanted a contraceptive on her hand. According to Lydia, the discomfort did not permit her to maintain any family planning method.

In another situation, a paediatrician in Yaounde, Dr Rose Ngoh says most men who are lone children in their families do not often welcome family planning methods. Even when some accept, they do not accompany their wives to see a doctor. Some men prefer to stay at home and wait for feedback from the woman.

Some men become very aggressive especially when they realise their wives are into any birth control method. Others just rely on natural birth control method that is no sex during unsafe period. Medical experts lamented that most men are just too proud to expose health issues related to sexuality reason why most of them would not even want to talk about sexuality talk-less of using a birth control method.

It is also noted that family planning is not accepted in certain cultures as it is believed that it is a Whiteman’s ideology to reduce the African population. Whatever way individuals want to see family planning, it is recalled that it is not just for economic importance or the welfare of the family, but more especially for the mother whose health is at risk giving birth at close interval.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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