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HealthPhone™: Understanding Your Body: How to Plan a Pregnancy

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MAF Medical Aid Films Films for Life

Understanding Your Body: How to Plan a Pregnancy

This film aims to give you information about the various methods of contraception available to help you plan your pregnancies and to protect you against sexually transmitted infections, otherwise known as STIs.

We asked some people on the streets of Nairobi in Kenya what contraception meant to them

I think contraceptives are methods and measures people take to prevent pregnancies.

You can prevent yourself from diseases like AIDS, STIs.

One may have a plan, a plan of having the number of children in the family.

What questions were there for sexual health expert Doctor Sue Mann?

What are STIs?

Dr. Sue Mann STIs are infections that are passed on through having sexual intercourse. Usually, you can't actually tell whether someone has got an STI or HIV. But some of the symptoms that people experience are a change in their discharge, sores on the genital region, or lumps and bumps in that region or pain when you pass urine, or wee.

Most STIs can be easily and cheaply cured by a quick visit to a local clinic but many people don't realize that and can suffer in silence for a very long time.

The best way to prevent STIs is through using a condom.

Why is contraception useful?

Having babies before the age of 17 can put women at much greater risk for complications in pregnancy or childbirth or even going on to lose the baby or to die during childbirth.

Women's bodies need time to recover between pregnancies and also women who have more than 4 children are more likely to experience bleeding and other problems in childbirth, and even death.

Using contraception can help prevent against these problems. Sometimes people worry that knowing more about contraception might encourage people to have more sex and to have sex earlier but we know that this helps people to make safer and more careful choices.

What other questions were there for Dr. Sue Mann about contraception and getting pregnant?

Is contraception the man or the woman's decision?

My husband does not want to use contraception. What can I do to avoid getting pregnant?

Will contraception make me infertile?

Will contraception be dangerous for my health?

Is it true that if you urinate after having sex you won't get pregnant?

Can magic stop you getting pregnant?

It's certainly not true that magic or urinating after sex can prevent pregnancy. To answer the other questions, and explain how contraception works Dr. Sue Mann went to meet a group of young people in the United Kingdom.

Today we are going to talk mainly about contraception, so preventing, how you prevent yourself having a baby. But it's good to think about how to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections and HIV as well.

We're going to start off by talking about condoms because that's really the only method that does both. It's important to check that you've got a new condom every time you have sex. They're made of rubber and they go on the erect penis just before someone's going to have sex. So you can see there is this little bit at the end you squeeze the air out of, okay? So you can see that when this is on the penis it actually stops the sperm going into the vagina.

The sperm is actually caught in the condom as it comes out.

Do you have to have the condom on during the whole period of sex?

That's a really good question. It's really important that it goes on before sex starts and stays on the whole time through. And you may know that sometimes a little bit of sperm can escape from the penis before ejaculation actually happens. And of course it's important that at the end of sex, when you take them off that you carefully remove them and dispose of them so you don't spill any of the sperm inside.

So, all these other methods of contraception do prevent against pregnancy but don't prevent against sexually transmitted infections, or HIV. The thing about them is that when you use them, and then you stop using them you return to being fertile and able to get pregnant again at the end of it.

Does anyone know what this is? Is it the coil? Good. Okay. Do you want to have a look at it? So it’s put inside the womb by a doctor or a nurse who is specially trained and then it sits where a baby would normally develop. It sits in the same place.

Does it hurt your body to use the coil?

No. These are very, very safe. They're used by lots and lots of women world wide but once it’s in you shouldn’t know it's there.

This is an implant and again it needs to be put in by a doctor or a nurse. You'd go to your local clinic and it would be put into the inside of the arm, just under the skin, so it’s tucked away actually. And you won't know it's there. Like the coil you can't see it and you can easily forget about it and it can stay there for three years. And what it does is stop the ovary releasing eggs so you can't get pregnant.

Are there any side effects from putting an implant in your arm?

It’s very, very safe so it doesn’t cause women long term health problems. But women do experience a change in their periods. It’s perfectly safe but some women just don’t like it.

The next method we are going to talk about is the injection. Like any injection it can go in your arm – or in your bottom. And you need to have it every three months and it works very, very well. And they do the same as lots of these different methods, which is stopping the ovaries releasing an egg. That’s the main way that they work.

So we’re gonna talk about pills now. Most women can get hold of pills if they want to from a clinic. Do you want to hand them round and have a look?

And you can see there's quite a lot of pills in that packet and it’s because they need to be taken every day. And it’s really, really important that you remember to take them every day for them to work properly.

How does the pill stop you from getting pregnant and is there any side effects?

The pill works by stopping the ovaries releasing the egg every month. Most people don’t experience any side effects with the pill and people continue for years and years without any problem at all.

We’re gonna talk about sterilisation and sterilisation is something that both men and women can have and it stops you being able to get pregnant permanently. So it’s a method that can be used when you’ve finished completing having children and it involves a small operation. So you would need to go to your local clinic where they would arrange to do the operation for you just in one day.

It’s a very difficult thing to reverse so if you decide to have a sterilisation it’s important that you think about it in a way that I'm never going to have more children.

All these methods of contraception might not all be available for you when you go to your clinic but usually there will be somewhere where it’s possible to get these methods.

Is it a man or a woman’s decision to use contraception?

Well I think where possible it’s always good if a man and a woman can make decisions about contraception together. Er – may be chat with your friends, find out how they do that maybe use examples as you're having your discussion together as a couple to say “you know well so and so uses a condom in their relationship”. Or so – I mean condoms are used so widely now that there are always examples of people who have been able to successfully negotiate that.

So now we know all the methods of contraception discussed to protect against pregnancy but only the condom protects against STIs. This information is crucial if you want to control the number of children you have and protect yourself against STIs and HIV.

So now it’s time to start talking about which method of contraception suits you.

For me I don’t use any contraception because I have not yet started doing sex.

What are some of the types of contraception? There are pills that are available – there are injections, there are condoms that are the most popular.

There are the IUCD and we have Depo Provera that is the injection.

For me when I have to do it and I know it is unsafe, I use condoms.

Me and my partner we use the pills And we agreed to use it because in order to just protect to have so many children than we can hold – yeah.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 49 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: Medical Aid Films
Views: 298
Posted by: nand on Mar 30, 2012

This film is aimed at teenagers and young adults and presents the various methods available to plan a pregnancy.

© Medical Aid Films - 2011

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