Thursday, February 26, 2009

Choosing A Method of Contraception

Our daughter, Sarah, was born 16 months after the birth of her brother. My husband and I call her conception “the will of God.” My midwife, however, calls it “carelessness for not using contraception method!”
Methods of contraception can be classified into “hormonal” and “non-hormonal.”
The hormonal methods include the use of pills and injection (monthly and/or tri-monthly). They are 99% effective, but not without side-effects. The usual side-effects cover rapid weight-gain and irregular menstrual period. They are not recommendable to tumor/cancer patients, and if you carelessly forget to take your pills or injection, it is likely you’ll conceive before the next menstrual period.
The non-hormonal methods include the use of condom, diaphragm, Dutch cap, Intrauterine Device (IUD), and sterilization (prohibited in Indonesia for couples with number of children less than three). The condom, diaphragm and Dutch cap shield the uterus from the flow of sperm, thus preventing conception. They can be disposed after intercourse. IUD is inserted into the uterus with the help of special device and left there to barricade the Fallopian tubes from the injection of sperm, thereby preventing conception for several years until the expiry date; then, with the help of a midwife or gynecologist, the former IUD is removed and replaced with a new one. In sterilization, a simple surgery is performed in order to cut or tie up the Fallopian tubes (in female) or vas deferens (in male), hence preventing conception for life. It is not permitted for couples with less than three children to undergo this operation in Indonesia, so far as I am informed.
I, on the other hand, failed to apply any of the methods explained above!
“I’ve told you so,” scowled my midwife, as I wailed and howled on the delivery stool, struggling to push the baby into open air. “I’ve told you to use contraception and you didn’t listen!”
“Now, relax. That’s it. Rest your butts on the bed,” she ordered – and pulled – and a couple seconds later Sarah’s cry filled the room. “It’s a girl! You’ve got a beautiful daughter this time! Alright, now I’m going to stitch you up, and you make sure you come back here in 40 days for contraception!”
This time, I didn’t dare to disobey her. Forty days later, I returned to her clinic, where she had an IUD prepared for me. It took five minutes of pain. Afterward, I no longer need to worry about anything for the next eight years.

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