Gynaecologist urges women to go for test before family planning choice


A gynaecologist, Dr Idris Liman, has advised women to first go for test for a suitable family planning method.

Liman told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that a woman's weight, health history as well as how long she wants to rest before her next pregnancy are often factors to determine the type of family planning she could use.

He noted that the method of contraception that worked for one patient might not be effective for another, adding that the popular method was the use of birth control pills.

``Birth control pills are medicines that are taken through the mouth that are aimed at preventing unplanned pregnancies.''

Liman explained that diabetic, hypertensive and sickle cell patients with blood clotting problems are not allowed to take certain birth control pills.

``A side effect of the pill is that it can cause blood clots in the body and make people nauseous. This can be really bad for people with blood problems.''

According to Liman, contraceptive pills either contain estrogen, progesterone or a combination of both which are hormones that sustain pregnancy.

He said that those containing progesterone were good for nursing mothers and bad for patients with diabetes, hypertension and sickle cell.

``The progesterone pills are very good for nursing mothers because it doesn't interfere with milk production and a woman has many other options when it comes to family planning, including the patch, condoms and a cervical cap or sponge.

``The patch is applied to the skin and releases synthetic estrogen and progesterone hormones to prevent pregnancy. There are panty condoms for the female, although these are not readily available in Nigeria.''

He said that of all the different methods of contraception, condoms also have the added advantage of preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

``Cervical caps block sperm from entering the uterus while the cervical sponge which also blocks sperm is filled with spermicide which stops the sperm from moving.''

The doctor stated that family planning methods for men include condoms and sterilisation.

``There are hormonal substances that can be injected into the man causing sterility in the man or the temporary tying of the part that produces sperm.''

He added that a woman's ability to space and limit her pregnancies had a direct impact on her health and ultimately, that of her baby.