World Contraception Day; What you need to know about the benefits of family planning.

 Adopt a small family size lifestyle - Nurse Olaleye Jemimah explains.

Every September 26th of every year is celebrated as "world contraception day". This yearly awareness campaign is aimed at enabling people irrespective of their gender (male or female) or age (teenagers or adults) to make informed and right decisions concerning their sexual and reproductive health in preventing unwanted and uplanned pregnancy and determine the number of children in the family.

What is contraception?

Contraception is a means of deciding and using methods to delay,  prevent and space pregnancy. This method will allow families to enjoy sexual and reproductive health.

As part of this year's "world contraception day", an awareness campaign was done to raise the knowledge of the community concerning family planning and its benefits in order to promote the health of the family and the society at large. Also, a novelty matched was played between "the All-Stars and Ogun state football teams" at the M.K.O Abiola, stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta with the score of 3. 0 respectively. Condoms were also distributed to the people present and the use of Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate - Subcuteneous (DMPA-SC) which is distributed by the Resilient Accelerated Scale-up of DMPA-SC/Self injection in Nigeria (RASuDiN).

Present at the awareness talk and novelty match was Mrs Ikeobi, the state family planning coordinator, Miss Fashoto Opeyemi, state program officer to Association for reproductive and family health (ARFH) , Primary health care board members, nurses, community extension workers and the community-oriented resources persons (CORPs).

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During her speech, "Mrs Ikeobi", stressed on the importance and negative impacts of family planning. She also stressed that both husbands and wives should be actively involved in family planning methods in order to provide a healthy and productive lifestyle for their children.

Brief history of family planning 

Family planning or contraception is not a new innovation, it has been dated back to ancients era, where several methods were used as birth control. For instance, " the Indians" make some restrictions whereby males are expected to get married after completing their academics education, fumigation of female genital after menstruation with "smoke of margosa" and a piece of rock salt that was smeared with til oil to keep the vagina intact before and after sexual intercourse. Similarly, the Egyptians women used "domes gotten from hollowed lemon" to cover their cervix and "the Africans men and women" wore rings, amulets to prevent unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. All these methods were used in olden days as a way of births control.

In this present day, there are various modern methods of contraception. These methods include the following:
1. Spacing method:
 - Hormonal: This involves the use of female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones combination suppresses ovulation, cervical mucus becomes thick and makes it difficult for sperms to enter the uterine cavity (consists of oral such postinor 2 pills and injectibles like norplants, depo povera).
 - Non-hormonal:  These are natural methods that involve total abstinence from sex, temperature method, coitus interruption and lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) among others.
- Chemical and mechanical barriers: This involves the use of male condoms, spermicides, female diaphragms, intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCD), cervical caps and vaginal contraceptive sponge.

2. Terminal methods:
These are forms of sterilization through surgery, mostly irreversible and permanent, unlike the spacing methods. But in some unfortunate conditions, e.g death of all the children, a reversal operation can be done but surgeons involves the interventions of expert surgeons in reputable hospital with appropriate equipment. This is divided into two, which are:
- Vasectomy (cutting off the 'Vas deference'), this is done by the males.
- Tubal ligation or tubectomy: The fallopian tubes of women that convey eggs from the ovaries are being blocked.

Advantages of adopting small families

 Family planning is the responsibility of both males and females.
  •  Family planning prevents unwanted and unplanned pregnancies.
  • It provides the mother with sufficient time to replenish her body nutrients lost during the former pregnancy.
  • The mother will have enough time and energy to cater properly for the children.
  • Small family adoption, will promote the health of the mother and her child.
  • Prevents feotal death, birth defects.
  • Family planning will allow the children to receive adequate nutrition, proper education, love and care from their parents.
  • Adopting a small family will give the father the opportunity to provide for his household, in terms of food, education, shelter, love and be more productive at work. 
  • The community will have easy access to basic infrastructures such as schools and hospitals.

Mrs Ikeobi also talked about the negative effects of having a big and unplanned family which are:
  • Unwanted and unplanned marriage.
  • Premature births. 
  • Abortion.
  • Stillbirths. 
  • Low birth weight babies. 
  • Unhappy and disharmony in the family. 
  • Economic hardship in the family. 
  • Lack of parental care. 
  • Death of mothers. 
  • Pressure on social amenities.
This year's "world contraception day" was proudly sponsored by Association For Reproductive  And Family Health (AFRH), Resilient and Accelerated Scale-up of DMPA-SC/Self injection in Nigeria (RASuDiN) The Challenge Initiative (TCI) and Ogun state ministry of youths and sports among others.

For more information about family planning, contact your health care provider or any reputable hospital near you.

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