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Contraceptive Culture in Africa – An IUD Story


I will be sharing stories of women using contraceptives, there are so many gaps in knowledge – procedure, side effects & more that can only be told by women that have had the experiences and I aim to bridge the gap by sharing real stories. Just like we are doing with Abortion.

Honestly, I hope you’ll read, learn and if you want to share your story, kindly send me a message on Twitter or an email to

Our baddie for today is a 24-year-old Nigerian lady that believes we should not be having sex like we are in 1972.

When was the first time you heard of contraceptives

I’ve known about them for years (even before I started having sex), I think the emergency contraceptives were the first I knew of. Everyone used to talk about Postinor 2.

That’s interesting, was what you heard people saying about Postinor-2 all the knowledge you had or you were taught by someone?

No one taught me anything. I learned everything myself. Thanks to the internet, I didn’t have sex until last year because I was so scared of falling pregnant. I couldn’t even trust condoms.

When I started having sex, I would use emergency contraceptives even with the condom, even after that, I would still spend nights not being able to sleep because I was still scared. Because you go on Google and you see stuff about people not knowing that a condom had leaked or an emergency contraceptive not working. It was torture.

I can imagine, Which contraceptive are you on and what influenced your choice?

I went with the IUD (An intrauterine device, also known as an intrauterine contraceptive device or coil, is a small, often T-shaped birth control device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are one form of long-acting reversible birth control) felt it would be easier than downing pills daily. Plus I didn’t want something that would mess with my hormones.

Also, cos it can be in there for the next 10 years. That’s a huge advantage of IUDs if you ask me and lastly, I think its success rate felt good enough.

It’d work 99% of the time and there’s a high chance of miscarriage should a pregnancy occur. Good enough for me. Wait! Is it 99% or 95? Can’t remember.

Did you think the medical practitioner that advised you to get one properly explained and answered all your questions?

I had independently done my research and decided on getting the IUD. The price too was another reason that encouraged me to go for it.

Paying about 5,000 Naira ($13) for something that’d last ten years made more sense.

So, basically, I chose the method and the lady who carried out the procedure explained everything to me. So Google was the chief adviser. Good for stuff like this but terrible for checking up your symptoms.

That’s a very interesting take on Google, I might agree with you there.
How was the procedure done and what did you feel doing it?

Firstly, I had to take a pregnancy test. It’s a requirement before you’re put on any form of contraceptive. The procedure was explained to me and I was asked to pee first.

So yea, I had to open my bumbum for her Smirking face.

Long story short, It took about 5mins I guess. It wasn’t painful painful but the feeling wasn’t convenient. There was like a weird cramp. The worst kinda pain I’ve felt (possibly cos I barely feel pain).

The pain was over as soon as it was done. But the cramp-like pain kept coming back. I had to keep taking felvin and ibuprofen to ease the pain.

So sorry about the pain. How long did the pain stay?

For most of that day. Then it’d briefly come and go once in 3 days maybe. This lasted for two weeks. After the two weeks mark, I really didn’t feel anything again.

That’s interesting, the copper IUD major side effect is cramping, did you feel an increase in your period cramps? How did it affect your period

Yea, but surprisingly, the period pains are not worse than they used to be. I’ve had two periods since the IUD. Didn’t really have cramps during the first period, the second one was a bit intense but it didn’t last. Before now, it could last an entire day.

The periods are heavier than they used to be. I can feel blood coming out of me, blood pours out when I sit on the toilet, when I’m taking a bath and the likes.
There were cramps days before the period arrived but once it did, that was really just it.

Is there anything you wish you knew before getting contraceptives?

Not really, I’m just glad I made the decision quickly. It’s 2021. People should not be having sex like they’re in 1972. There are so many options to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Why do you think there’s a lot of fear with women in general about getting contraceptives?

I think for most women, it’s the fear of judgment. Imagine people being shy about buying condoms, lube, or emergency contraceptives. It’s quite mad how the act that brought us all to earth is experienced with so much shame.

Again, I guess they’re just not informed enough. They need access to information and the right facilities to go to. They also probably think these things are expensive, but they’re not.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us
Is there anything you’ll like to say? Any final words?

As I said before, we need to stop having sex like we’re in 1972. There are many options now to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Especially in a country like ours where access to safe abortion is an issue, prevention is very important. It’s part of healthcare.
Also, if you’re in need of a health center where you wouldn’t feel judged, Marie Stopes is the way.

I hope you enjoyed reading. Come back for more, will you? Ever heard of the IUD contraceptive?


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