Infertility and Contraceptives

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Many Kenyan women that are of childbearing age opt to use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. The narrative is common among women from across the economic divide with the poor increasingly opting for family methods that will allow them to make better decisions on planning their family (http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/Use-of-contraceptives-on-the-rise-among-Kenya-s-urban-poor/957860-3050450-mtejyi/index.html). The most common contraceptives used by women in Kenya are pills, injectables and implants. The oral contraceptives can be bought at local chemists while the implants and injectables are administered at clinics and hospitals around the country.

Nevertheless, the fear of not being able to conceive as a result of taking hormonal contraceptives over a period of time is always lurking in the mind of many even though not often expressed to others. Fortunately, the rate of infertility associated with frequent use of these contraceptives is quite low making them a good choice for women that are not ready to get pregnant. In most cases, women have been able to conceive within a few weeks or months after getting off family planning. All the same, it is important to discuss your options with your doctor before starting on any type of contraceptives to reduce any risks of unwanted pregnancies or on your overall health status.

Although contraceptives have no direct connection with infertility, there are some cases whereby they can negatively affect long term fertility in women. Some of the ways in which the use of family planning can affect fertility include:

  1. Improper use of hormonal contraceptives

Many women in Kenya that have delayed conception due to improper use of contraceptives often think it is because of the regular use of family planning methods. When making a decision to start using contraceptives, it is important to seek advice from a qualified doctor, whether single or married. The medical professional will be able to discuss the pros and cons of each method allowing you to make an informed decision.

2. Declined fertility

As many women put off starting a family for different reasons it is possible to still be sexually active but not get pregnant for an extended time period using contraceptives. However, as they get older their fertility begins to decline thus making it harder to conceive or carry a baby to full term. Family planning methods can suppress the urgency of time in connection with fertility resulting in delayed or no conception depending on one’s age.

3. Ignoring fertility issues

Problems with fertility can be diagnosed in both younger and older women, with most doctors advising that the issue be dealt with as soon as possible. When taking contraceptives, it is possible for women to delay treatment for a minor fertility issue especially if they do not plan to get pregnant soon. In some cases, the fertility problems may become worse or family planning methods used may accelerate the existing problem making it hard to conceive in the future or result in infertility.

Overall, most family planning methods including hormonal contraceptives are safe to use but need to be used as instructed without ignoring any fertility issues or age which may contribute to infertility.