We have run articles on the various family planning methods available to women in Malawi. As we round up this series, Akossa Mphepo asks Dr Frank Taulo, gynaecologist and deputy head of the OBGYN department at College of Medicine to point out some of the key points women need to know in terms of family planning.
Additional information is derived from Josephine ChangoleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presentation on family planning titled Modern Methods of Contraception.
What questions should women ask their health care providers on family planning?
Taulo: They should know the types available, their mode of function, effectiveness, benefits, side effects and whether these methods will be eligible to them depending on their age, health and other things.
As a gynaecologist, which methods would you recommend to the majority of women?
These methods are all beneficial and actually depend on the client. We need to seek out the best method for the person that has presented to us.
Additional information on contraceptives presented by nurse Josephine Changole at a family planning workshop facilitated by the Centre for Reproductive Health.
1.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â For some women on Depro provera (this does NOT occur in all users)there might be a late return to fertility after discontinuing use. Sometimes, secondary infertility might occur in some women. It is therefore not recommended for women who have one or two children or those that have no children at all.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When you are thinking of family planning, you have to make your choices very wisely,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Chingole.
2.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The loop is best for young women such as those that have just had their first baby and would like to have more children in the future as there is no delay in return to fertility after discontinuing use.
3.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The benefits of contraceptive methods, if issued according to a clientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eligibility goÃ‚Â beyond preventing pregnancy. If, for example, you are on the pill, you might experience no bleeding, which means you will not lose any blood. This is beneficial to women that suffer from anaemia or have low blood levels.
Three key things you should remember are:
a.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Learn all you can about each method from your health care provider; do not be afraid to ask detailed questions if what they are saying does not make sense to you because you have the right to that information.
b.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Remember that the side effects caused by a particular contraceptive do not occur to everybody as we are all different.
c.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Always ensure that your health-care provider matches you to the method you are most eligible for, depending on your age, future family plans, health problems and others, as pointed out by Taulo and Changole.