Holy Hormones Honey! We have gone so overboard with the medicalization of women’s bodies in this part of the world – we hardly even discuss natural family planning – Yet women in Africa are being taught body literacy and how to prevent and manage pregnancies. And this is being done because so many women suffer side effects and hormone imbalance related anxiety. Natural Family Planning is not for everyone. But neither are synthetic hormones.
Are natural family planning methods effective?
Times of Zambia
By ETAMBUYU SANG’ANDU –
But how much do couples know about the natural methods and yet some women suffer from effects of artificial contraceptives.
It is against this back-ground that this article seeks to explain the pros and cons of NFP.
Natural birth control includes behavioural methods of specific actions that people can do naturally to help prevent an unintended pregnancy and it does not cost anything and usually has no side effects.
NFP is one of the methods used to help a couple determine when sexual intercourse can and cannot result in pregnancy.
It involves being able to identify the signs and symptoms (fertility indicators) of fertility during the menstrual cycle, so you can plan or avoid pregnancy.
Reproductive health specialist Swebby Macha who is secretary general of Zambia gynaecologist and obstetrician association said that NFP is a reliable method without side effects but also has some disadvantages.
Dr Macha explained that during the menstrual cycle, a number of changes occur in a woman’s body.
By keeping track of these changes, couples can plan when to have intercourse and when to avoid intercourse, depending on whether they are trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy.
In most cases, a couple will use Natural Family Planning only to limit the total number of children and to provide a space of time between births.
However, natural family planning methods need to be taught to a couple if they chose any of the natural family methods.
Firstly, fertility awareness methods require partners cooperation and the couple must be committed to abstaining or using another method on fertile days.
The woman must be aware of her body changes or keep track of days according to the values of the specific method.
NFP methods help women learn about their bodies and fertility.
“The method has no side effects; it can be used to identify fertile days by both women who want to become pregnant and women who want to avoid pregnancy.
“It allows some couples to adhere to their religious or cultural norms about contraception and that it does not require procedures and usually do not require suppliers,” Dr Macha said.