‘Doctor thought I was self aborting,’ Nairobi woman tells of contraceptives horror

University student Rachael, 22, dreads the thought of periods because of the pain and discomfort she has to endure month in month out.

So bad is it, doctors once mistook her cramps for abortion.

“On one occasion, I was in unbearable pain.

When my parents took me to hospital, the doctors insisted on running a test to see if maybe I was aborting or in labour,” the soft-spoken girl tells the Star.

‘Here is why your wife looks older than your mother,’ Akothee reveals

She adds

I once got a panic attack at home because of my period, and I had to be rushed to hospital.

Another time, I was in school and my period started when we were lined up for parade.

Racheal adds that at some point she got panic attacks

It got really painful and I had to be taken to class by a first aider.

When the pain got worse, I got a panic attack and had to be rushed to Nairobi Women’s Hospital, before my parents came for me.

Foods and beverages to avoid when pregnant

The University of Nairobi student says she once started throwing up and having diarrhoea as she came from class at a local college.

I was going home from Zetech and my periods started. I alighted the matatu I was in and went to a nearby hotel because I was feeling ill. 

The hotel manager took me to a chemist and called my mother and auntie to come pick me up.

She has resorted to walking around with Ponstan drugs when she knows her periods are about to start.

Contraception can sometimes delay your flow. It can cause an abnormal flow or one may start spotting over a long period of time

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‘Use of contraceptives is for lazy people’ Magufuli declares as he discourages women from using them to help increase Tanzanian population

Tanzanian President Magufuli is on the spotligh again after claiming that women who use contraceptives are lazy, a comment that has sparked fury.

The Head of State was quoted by Citizen newspaper saying that women should now give up contraceptives given that they have ways and means of taking care of kids.

“Those going for family planning are lazy. They do not want to work hard to feed a large family. And that is why they opt for births controls and end up with one or two children only.

black-couple-pregnant

I have travelled to Europe and elsewhere and have seen the harmful effects of birth control. Some countries are now facing declining population growth.

You have cattle. You are big farmers. You can feed your children. Why then resort to birth control?” he asked. “This is my opinion, I see no reason to control births in Tanzania.”

Shock as 24-year-old man kills 3 kids, wife and mother-in-law and keeps the dead bodies for six days before being found out

In 2017, President Magufuli proposed a controversial policy stating that pregnant schoolgirls be blocked from resuming their education after giving birth.

According to the World Bank, Tanzania’s population stands at 55.5 million, up from 10 million in 1961.Other Countries that have urged their Citizens to mate and multiply include China after lifting the one-child policy which had been in place since 2015.

The one-child policy ran until 2015 when it was partially relaxed to allow some couples to have two children, but families have been slow to embrace official approval to expand.

newborn-black-baby-boy

Beijing reversed its hugely controversial one-child policy — in which women were subject to forced abortions, heavy fines, and eviction if they attempted to have a second baby — as demographic issues caused by the lack of children became increasingly apparent.

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‘I thought I was dying,’ Woman, 26, after discovering she had a life-threatening brain tumour

A woman thought her leaking nipples, mood swings and erratic periods were a side effect of the pill – only to discover she was suffering from a life-threatening brain tumour.

Kirsty Lane, 26, who was studying for a nursing degree, initially put her symptoms down to stress, however, her GP believed they were caused by oral contraceptives.

When her symptoms worsened even after she came off the pill, Ms Lane, from Weeting, Suffolk, insisted on a blood test, which revealed she was suffering from a brain tumour, known as prolactinoma, and would require medication for the rest of her life.

Tests also showed the tumour had stopped her ovaries from functioning, making the hopeful mother panic she would never have a family.

Yet, aggressive treatment has controlled Ms Lane’s tumour and doctors are optimistic she will one day conceive.

She is now raising awareness of her condition to help other sufferers spot the symptoms.

‘I thought I was dying’ 

Ms Lane said: ‘The doctor told me I had a prolactinoma, which is a little tumour on the pituitary gland, in the centre of the skull.

‘Just hearing that word “tumour” made me panic. That was really the only thing I listened to.

‘I heard the word tumour and brain and I just thought I was dying.

‘It was so awful. I left the surgery and just sobbed and sobbed and my husband, Mark, 40, came to meet me.’

Ms Lane started feeling out-of-sorts towards the end of her degree in 2013.

As well as having constant headaches, her menstrual cycle stopped and she noticed a white milky liquid leaking from her breasts.

Her husband, a lorry driver, advised her to see a doctor when she started to experience out-of-character mood swings.

Ms Lane said: ‘My mood was awful. I was constantly stroppy and really low.

‘Mark had to sit me down and say that being a moody mare just wasn’t like me at all. With the headaches and the fact I wasn’t menstruating, he knew something wasn’t right.’

Her GP suspected Ms Lane was reacting badly to the pill, which she had been taking for eight years.

As a nurse, Ms Lane also recognised her symptoms as side effects of the contraceptive, although she still worried something more sinister may be at fault.

She said: ‘There was a point when I thought maybe there was something wrong with my brain, as my headaches were always in the same place and so severe. I was so busy with everything that I sort of put it to the back of my mind, though.

‘And when my doctor mentioned the pill, I felt like that made perfect sense.’

Yet, around one year later, when she stopped taking the pill and her symptoms worsened, a blood test revealed her tumour.

Ms Lane said: ‘Three days after the blood test, I received an urgent call from my doctor, asking me to go back to the surgery.

‘I still thought it was just something to do with the pill, so I didn’t take anyone with me – only to discover I had a brain tumour.’

An MRI scan later showed Ms Lane’s tumour was very small and, as it was not touching her optic nerve, would not require surgery, as it could be controlled with medication.

‘My ovaries weren’t working at all’ 

Despite her condition being under control, Ms Lane worried it may affect her chances of having children.

She said: ‘I had zero oestrogen, so my ovaries just weren’t working at all.

‘I fretted that I’d never be able to have a family, especially because, when they prescribed my medication, they told me I wouldn’t be able to take it when I was trying for children.

‘I was really upset. It’s not until something like that this happens that you realise you can’t just assume anything.

‘Fortunately, however, my menstrual cycle’s back to normal now and it looks like, if I did fall pregnant, I’d be able to stop taking the [drugs] for that period, without any concerns.’

Since starting treatment, Ms Lane’s headaches have almost disappeared and her mood is also stable.

She said: ‘I feel like the moody me, with all the health problems was a completely different person.

‘I’m really lucky that the medication worked and I didn’t need any surgery. I know I will probably have to be on the medication for life but things are so much better.

‘And, hopefully, I’ll have a family with Mark one day, too.’

Ms Lane has been helped by the Pituitary Foundation and is raising awareness during Pituitary Awareness Month.

Women Lament About The Pros And Cons Of Birth Control ( True Stories)

According to a 2016 family planning data study by Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020, six in ten married women use birth control. But this is not the case with young girls, who are losing their virginity as early as the age of 10 years leading to a note-able rise in early pregnancies. The various methods of avoiding or preventing unplanned or unwanted pregnancies include;

  1. The combination pill
    This pill is most effective when taken every day. It reduces hot flashes and restores regular periods however, smokers and women above 35 years of age should avoid using it as it may cause dangerous blood clots.
    combination pill
  2. Progestin-only pill
    It is also known as a mini pill and is a safer option for smokers, heart disease patients, diabetics and those at risk for blood clots. However, this pill is meant to be taken everyday at the same time emphasis on “at the same time” otherwise it will not be as effective.
    Progestin only pill
  3. Extended cycle pill
    These pills not only prevent pregnancy but also allow you to have your period only once in three months. Like the first two types of pills mentioned above, the extended pill must also be taken every single day year round.
    Extended cycle pill
  4. Vaginal Ring
    This flexible plastic ring is placed in the vagina for three weeks and then removed for one week so that one can have a regular period. However, this method is unsafe for smokers and those who are prone to blood clots and certain cancers.Vaginal ring
  5. Diaphragm
    This dome-like shaped rubber that covers the cervix must be fitted by the doctor and must always be used with a spermicide. Those who tend to lose or gain weight often by more than 10 pounds are advised against this method as it will not be as effective. One would have to go back to the doctor’s office for the ring to be refitted.
    Diaphragm
  6. IUD
    The copper Intrauterine Device(IUD) is surgically implanted and can be used for a long period of time. Yes, I am talking about a good ten years or so and it is more than 99% effective. However, this method can cause pain to women who have not had children yet. It is therefore recommended for women who have already had children and are not planning on having any more any time soon.
    IUD
  7. Female condoms
    Much like the diaphragm, this polyurethane condom is inserted deep into the vagina and can last up to eight hours. However it is not as effective in preventing both STDs and pregnancies
    Female Condom
  8. Male condoms
    Unlike their counterparts (female condoms), when worn properly, the male condom will prevent pregnancies and protect you from STDs. However men who are allergic to polyurethane or latex are advised to seek another method.
    Male condoms
  9. Patch
    The patch can be placed on your arm, buttocks, or abdomen. It should be replaced every week. However those prone to blood clots are advised against this method as it delivers 60% more estrogen than a low-dose pill.
    Patch
  10. Implant
    The implant is about the size of a matchstick and is placed under the skin on your upper arm. It can last up to three years and is nearly 100% effective however, it might not be as efficient for women who are over weight.
    Implant
  11. Sterilization
    This method is a surgical procedure that blocks the Fallopian tubes from carrying eggs to the uterus in women. For men, this procedure involves cutting the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles. This method is less risky for men however, it is advised against if one wishes to have children in the future as it is irreversible.
    Sterilization
  12. Emergency Contraception Pills
    Last but not least, note that this is not a birth control method. Like the name suggests the pill is not meant to be used regularly as it may mess up your menstrual cycle or have other dangerous side effects when abused. However, this is the most commonly used method. It is a morning after pill that works best if taken within the first 72 hours of unprotected sex.
    Emergency Pills
  13. Abortion
    While still illegal in Kenya, many women and young girls are resorting to this dangerous procedure that continues to claim the lives of many who do backstreet procedures.
    Abortion

Given the various ways of preventing unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, the most commonly used methods in Kenya are the emergency contraceptive pills, Progestin-only pills, male condoms and sadly but true Abortion. Here are some of the side effects that you probably did not know about as experienced by;

Celestine (Age 22): I am really uncomfortable with my size. My upper body started to expand rapidly and before I knew it, I had gained 13 kg while I was using the progestine-only pills. I consulted my doctor and he told me that the pills affect people differently according to their hormones. He also told me that some people get fat while others lose a lot of weight however, there are some who remain the same. I have dieted, gone to the gym,and while I have managed to lose 7 Kgs, my body is simply not the way it was before.

Charlotte (Age 24): I got pregnant while using a condom. I always use condoms during intercourse however last year, I got pregnant and did not realize that I was until the pregnancy was two months old. I decided to keep the baby but I must admit, it was unplanned for. I had plans for my life but now that my baby is in the picture, I have to make new plans. It can be quite challenging but I do love my baby.

Brenda (Age 26): I am HIV positive. You hear a lot of people talk about AIDS here and there. So often that we tend to forget how serious the issue is. I often opted for the emergency contraceptive pill whenever I had sex. But the pill does not prevent STDs and so I contracted the deadly virus. I have since been on medication and I am living positively. I urge women out there to use condoms .

Linda (Age 19): I tried to have an abortion and almost lost my life in the process. I could not go to hospital as it is illegal in Kenya and at the time I thought if I had gone home from school pregnant, my parents would surely kill me themselves. So I did the one thing I thought was the solution. After I had aborted, I lost a lot of blood and the bleeding could not stop. A whole week passed by and I was still bleeding heavily. I panicked and opened up to my parents. My mum was so disappointed in me while My dad was just heart broken. They told me I should have gone to them in the first place. I thank God for the parents I have otherwise I do not know what I would have done.

Bridget (Age 32): I once tried to use a female condom but it got stuck in my private parts. I tried to pull it out after me and my boyfriend at the time were done having intercourse but it was so deep inside. I panicked and immediately went to hospital. The doctor said that I had worn it wrong but after that experience, I am quite certain I will not be using female condoms any time soon or ever for that matter.

Catholics don’t have to breed ‘like rabbits’, says Pope Francis

Catholics do not have to breed “like rabbits” and should instead practise “responsible parenting”, Pope Francis said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters en route home from the Philippines, Francis said there were plenty of church-approved ways to regulate births.

But he firmly upheld church teaching banning contraception and said no outside institution should impose its views on regulating family size, blasting what he called the “ideological colonisation” of the developing world.

African bishops, in particular, have long complained about how progressive, western ideas about birth control and gay rights are increasingly being imposed on the developing world by groups, institutions or individual nations, often as a condition for development aid.

“Every people deserves to conserve its identity without being ideologically colonised,” Francis said.

 

Women who met their husband while on the pill can find them less attractive once they stop- research

Women who met their spouses while they are taking the pill could find them less attractive once they stop, researchers have found.

Those married to men whose faces were not deemed as attractive became less satisfied with their relationship when they stopped using oral contraception.

However, Men who were deemed to be attractive saw their wives’ satisfaction increase when they stopped the pill.

The fact that wives’ hormonal contraceptive use was linked to their marital satisfaction suggests that hormonal contraceptives may have far-reaching implications, both beneficial and harmful,’ says the study.

The study followed 48 couples for four years of marriage, and another 70 couples for one year.

 

Pope Francis’ adviser hints at rethink on contraception ban

A leading reformist Cardinal close to Pope Francis has hinted at the possibility of a reinterpretation of the Roman Catholic Church’s blanket ban on artificial contraception.

Cardinal Walter Kasper said it was “the responsibility of the parents” to decide how many children they should have.

He also said that so-called natural family planning, which is promoted by the Church as an alternative to contraception, also has an “artificial” element.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11109080/Pope-Francis-adviser-hints-at-rethink-on-contraception-ban.html