Girls, Here’s How You Can Deal With Stigma Arising From Infertility

This situation plays itself in so many homesteads across Kenya. Whether it’s you, a close friend, or a relative, many couples are unable to conceive. And naturally the strain takes its toll on a relationship.

When a couple is unable to conceive, the man may divorce his wife or take another wife if they live in a culture that permits polygamy.

Childless women suffer discrimination, stigma and ostracism despite the fact that according to WHO male infertility has been found to be the leading cause of a couple’s failure to conceive in about 50% of cases.

It’s also important to note that more than 30% of women aged 25–49 suffer from secondary infertility, the failure to conceive after an initial first pregnancy.

MP Joyce Lay, who also works closely with Merck More than a mother campaign, states how stigmatization can be extreme in some countries, where infertile people are viewed as a burden on the socioeconomic well-being of a community.

Taita Taveta women rep Joyce Lay. Photo/Monicah Mwangi
Taita Taveta women rep Joyce Lay. Photo/Monicah Mwangi

“Stigma extends to the wider family, including siblings, parents and in-laws, who are deeply disappointed for the loss of continuity of their family and contribution to their community. This amplifies the guilt and shame felt by the infertile individual,” she says.

Jackline Mwende, whose husband allegedly chopped her hands and left her with terrible injuries is an example of crazy and criminal things infertile women experience. She is a real life example of why you should overcome infertility stigma as she is now pregnant and her life is taking a new turn.


We need to know that it’s a shared responsibility, not just for the couple but for the society too,” added Hon. Joyce Lay, Member of Parliament and the Ambassador for ‘Merck More than a Mother’.


‘I’d gotten used to disappointments’ Gabrielle Union on years of infertility

Gabrielle Union recently opened on the challenges women battling infertility deal with herself included.

The mother of one has had 9 miscarriages and several failed IVF attempts.

According to Gabriel, not being a mother should not be a measure of a woman’s worth. Adding that events such as Mother’s day only increases pain for ‘childless’ women.

The actress who was on a promotional tour for her latest series L.A.’S finest says

I think for a lot of people who have been on a fertility journey, Mother’s Day brings so much pain.

It just feels like a sick joke, of all of your, “I’m using my finger quotes here,” “failures” as a woman. 

‘And when people are like, ‘You’re not complete until you become a mom,” and you’re like, “D***, do I have any worth?” So Mother’s Day just brings all of that up.

Celebrity parents who are turning parenthood into business!

Gabrielle Union with her husband and daughter.
Gabrielle Union with her husband and daughter.

Gabriel adds

So trying to keep that in mind, you know at 46, celebrating my first Mother’s Day, my family were like, “Well, You’ve been celebrating Mother’s Day with the boys as a step mother!”

I was like, “But there is no Step Mother’s Day. You gotta stay in your lane.”‘

‘Ya, I’m doing the work, I’m in the trenches but it’s not my day.

With Kaav, it felt like this is a day that I’m okay to celebrate loud and proud and stand out front. But I also tried not to lose sight of .

For a lot of people it’s a very painful day.

On mothers day Gabrielle shared a post on how she had gotten used to heartbreak and disappointments before her daughter was born.

I’ve cried so many times today for so many reasons, mainly because I’d gotten accustomed to heartbreak and disappointment. I think alot of us live in that space.

I set up shop there. This moment reminded me that miracles do happen. You cant age out of joy. You are worthy. You are worthy.

You are worthy. Sending so much love today to all the mamas, stepmamas, grandmas, aunties real and play, daddies, friends and anyone who has taken the time to nurture another living soul.

I see you, I gotchu. And to those who have lost their mamas, grandmas, mother figures, sending extra love and light and hugs your way. 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

Source:Daily Mail

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‘We tried bearing a child without success for 5 years’ says Raila Junior

Raila Junior, son to  Raila Odinga, has opened up on the struggles he and his wife went through before they were able to conceive their son.

Speaking during an interview heard by Classic 105, Raila Junior says for five years all they did was hope and wait.

“We waited for a child for five years. Not once did I pressure my wife because both of us were already being pressured out there by friends.

I thank God because he later blessed us with a son.”

‘Acoustic neuroma, a non cancerous tumor paralyzed my face ‘- Raila Junior

Raila Junior is  married to  Yvonne Wambui whom he wedded in 2011 at a colorful wedding attended by the creme de la creme of the Kenyan society.

Raila-odinga-junior with his dad and wife
Raila-odinga-junior with his dad and wife

According to Daily Mail one in six couples have difficulty in conceiving a baby, and the number of couples seeking medical help to have a family has risen dramatically.

Before, many couples just accepted they could not have children and never bothered to see a doctor. However, there does appear to be a genuine increase in infertility – especially in men.

All too often, women come to see me, on their own, when they can’t conceive.

Somehow, fertility issues are seen as a ‘woman’s problem’. Yet it takes two to make a baby, and problems in the man are just as likely to be the cause of fertility difficulties as those in women. Male factors now account for 30pc of fertility problems – the same as female factors.

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Women who eat too much junk food are ‘twice as likely to be infertile’ than those who eat fruits

Women who regularly tuck into takeaways and junk food take longer to get pregnant than those who eat lots of fruit, says a study.

Those who ate fast food four times a week or more took nearly a month longer to conceive and were twice as likely to be infertile than those who rarely ate it.

And would-be mums who ate fruit three times a day or more in the month up to conception became pregnant more quickly than those who did not.

The study found that while fruit and fast foods affected the time taken to conceive, green vegetables and fish did not.

Lead author Professor Claire Roberts, of the University of Adelaide, said the results showed how ‘a good quality diet that includes fruit and minimises fast-food improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant’.

Researchers studied the diet history of 5,598 pregnant women in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Of these, 39 per cent had become pregnant within a month and 8 per cent took longer than a year, which is officially classed as infertile.

Eating fast food four times a week or more doubled the risk of infertility from 8 per cent to 16 per cent, while eating fruit only rarely increased it by half, from 8 per cent to 12 per cent.

The study took into account other risks affecting fertility, such as body weight, smoking and alcohol consumption.

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‘Why Do Women In Childless Marriages Get So Much Pressure To Have Kids?’ – Nick Odhiambo

During the morning conversation with Nick Odhiamno and Mwalimu King’ang’i, the two discussed a feature in a local daily about the crazy things women in childless marriages go through.

We all remember the story of Jackline Mwende, whose hands were chopped off by her husband because she did not bear children in their seven-year marriage, yet it turned out he is the one with a medical problem.

According to the article, being in a childless marriage in Africa, unlike the Western world, is a very big issue. Women in such unions or marriages, even where it’s the husband who is infertile, go through hell. They are either chased away, beaten or co-wifed for the inability to give birth.

Nick Odhiambo could not understand why Africans or Kenyans are so paranoid when it comes to children, yet there are people in the West who go for years without getting children and either adopt or find other means of having kids.

Listen to the audio below as men and women talked about the agony of being in a childless marriage.

What Infertility Remedies Are Available?

So here you are, having tried to get pregnant for a year and nothing… Not a miscarriage or a missed period. You and your partner are looking at each other askance, scared to say “let’s go to the doctor”. Your situation might even be worse. Perhaps you have been to the doctor and have been tested and you sat there trying to make head or tail of the bad news of your combined infertility and the options available to you.

Now that you have staggered, found your footing and absorbed the news, what are the options available to you? Can you afford them?

Medication: Hormonal imbalances can be treated with medicines, as can erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

Surgery: To repair blockages in the tubes that transport sperm or to repair varicose veins in the testicals.

ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology (see above in the, treatments for women’ section).

For both men and women, the following lifestyle changes will improve your overall health and also your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby:

Stop smoking cigarettes or marijuana: Smoking tobacco has been linked to low sperm counts and sluggish motility. Long-term use of marijuana can result in low sperm count and abnormally developed sperm. In women, smoking has been linked to premature menopause.

Decrease your drinking: Alcohol can reduce the production of normal sperm.

Watch your weight: Both overweight and underweight people can have fertility problems. With too much weight, there can be hormonal disturbances. And when a man’s too lean, he can have decreased sperm count and functionality. The same is true for women, with acute hormonal imbalances resulting in few or no menstrual periods.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables: These will keep your circulation in great shape, which is necessary to move all those hormones around, and also for your sex life.

Exercise: Again, this is not just great for your circulation but also for all bodily organs. Exercise will also help you deal with the stress of trying to conceive and increase your libido.

Avoid toxins: Landscapers, contractors, manufacturing workers, and people who have regular contact with environmental toxins or poisons (pesticides, insecticides, lead, radiation or heavy metals) are all at risk of infertility.

Adoption: The world is full of orphaned children in need of a good home. And with the new law banning foreign adoption of Kenyan babies, it is up to us to provide a solution. The process takes about a year. You must get a lawyer and you can expect at least two home visits from a social worker. Nobody expects a lavish home, just provide for the basic needs of a child and lots of love.

When you think about all that can go wrong and just how small the chances of conception are on a monthly basis, it is no wonder that sex feels so good and we are so driven to have it.

As you deal with infertility as a couple, here are some relationship issues that might come up:

Anger: One or both partners may be angry at the partner with the infertility issues. This might look like promiscuity, avoidance of sex altogether, withdrawal of intimacy or denial of what is actually happening.

In-laws: Running commentary from people who think they have a vested interest in your reproduction – opinions, rude comments about barrenness and ideas on what you can do and so on.

Differences in what each partner is willing to do to become a parent: Financially (treatments are expensive, would you mortgage your home?), and even scientifically (one might be willing to try medical treatment but not surgery).

Impact of hormonal treatments: High doses of hormones make you moody, frantic and very emotional. This can take a toll on a marriage.

Emotional exhaustion from trying to get pregnant and failing: Getting a negative result month after month can be heartbreaking, and you must both decide when enough is enough.


Busting abortion myths

Abortion is a topic people feel very strongly about, either in favour of or against it. Therefore, it’s good to clear up some of the many myths around abortion before making up your own mind…

Myth 1: Abortion can cause breast cancer later in life
Thankfully, this isn’t true. A large study with more than 1.5 million women showed that women who had an abortion didn’t have a higher risk for breast cancer later in life.

Myth 2: Abortion causes infertility
Having an abortion (or several, for that matter), won’t affect your ability to have a healthy pregnancy later on. However, just like with every other medical procedure, there are risks. If you end up having complications, your fertility could be affected in the future. Keep in mind though that there is less than 0.05 per cent risk for complications with first trimester medical abortions.

Myth 3: All women who abort face emotional problems
Not necessarily. Women who have thought about their decisions well usually feel relieved and don’t have regrets. Other women, however, may feel sad, guilty or grieving. The later on in the pregnancy you have the abortion, the more likely you are to have feelings of grief.

Myth 4: Only young, irresponsible women have abortions
No, not at all. First of all, keep in mind that no birth control method is 100 per cent effective. If you take a look at numbers from the US, for example, you will see that one in two pregnancies is unintended. And that more than 60 per cent of the women who end up having an abortion already have a child.

Myth 5: There are easy ways to abort at home
No, no, no.Whatever you have heard, from castor oil, to boiling hot baths to superhigh doses of vitamin C – they don’t work. Worst case: they are harmful to your health, so please don’t even try any of them. The only way to have an abortion is either medically or surgically and you should be discussing all your options with a medical professional beforehand.


Catholic bishops urge Kenyans to boycott the Tetanus vaccine

The Kenya Conference of Catholic bishops are calling on all Kenyans to boycott the controversial tetanus vaccine being undertaken in 60 sub counties.

The bishops told the parliamentary health committee that the process is intended to control the population in the country saying original tests of the vaccine contains a hormone that brings infertility to women.

According to the catholic bishops the ministry of health has not tested the vaccine. They called on the government to prioritize human dignity and stop the process.

“Tetanus vaccine has hormone that causes infertility”, Catholic church insists

Independent tests by the Catholic church on samples of the tetanus vaccine promoted by the government show it is laced with a hormone that causes infertility and miscarriages, the church has said.

Samples of the vaccine from independent sources, tested by four unrelated government and private laboratories in Kenya and abroad, were found to contain the Beta-HCG hormone, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops said at a press briefing in Nakuru on Thursday.

The church has accused the government of dishonesty and misleading Kenyans, and reiterated its call for the people to shun the vaccination terming it a disguised population control programme.

Accusing Health ministry officials of handling the matter casually, the bishops said they had raised their concerns with Health CS James Macharia and the Health Services director who had agreed to test the vaccine.

“We were dismayed that the ministry pulled out of the agreement and refused to cooperate. Joint tests were not done. We struggled and acquired several vials of the vaccine. On October 13, we gave copies of the results to the CS and the director but no action has been taken,” Cardinal John Njue said. The tetanus vaccination campaigns are sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.


Why Not Having Kids Drives Some People Crazy

The great, worldwide, international jury is still deadlocked over whether having children makes people happier or not.

On the one side, there are chubby fingers and first steps and unbridled joy and on the other side, there’s sleep, money and time. But an intriguing new study from the Netherlands suggests that not having children only makes infertile women unhappy if they are unable to let go of the idea of having kids.

It sounds obvious, but here’s the twist: women who already had children but desperately wanted more had worse mental health than women who didn’t have kids and wanted them, but had managed to get over that particular life goal.

So it’s not just whether they had kids that made people depressed or content, it’s how badly they wanted them.

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