How long does it take to get pregnant after stopping a contraceptive method?

contraception
As more women in Kenya appreciate the need to plan pregnancy using modern family planning methods, more concerns by the same group has risen regarding long term effects of contraceptives.
Lots of women ask these questions: After using contraceptives, will I be able to fall pregnant as soon as I come off it? Will using birth control for a long period of time affect my fertility?
The answer to these questions lies in the type of contraceptive method or the family panning method one has decided to use.
It is adequately documented by experts that some contraceptive methods have no impact on your fertility once you come off them, and you can fall pregnant as soon as you stop using the method.
With others, especially those that introduces hormones in your body, it takes slightly longer time to return to fertility which means that even when you stop using them, it could take some time to fall pregnant.
The common methods that women use in Kenya are the 3-month injection known as Depo Provera; the contraceptive implants that are inserted on the upper arm; daily oral pills and intra-uterine device (IUD) commonly known as the coil.
All the methods mentioned above use hormones to prevent pregnancy from occurring except the IUD.
According to Dr. Stephen Gwer a medical doctor and a lecturer of Obstetrics and gynaecology at Maseno University School of medicine, hormonal contraceptives (the pill, implant and injection) all contain a small amount of man-made hormones that are released into the bloodstream at a slow and steady rates.
The hormone thickens the cervical mucus and thins the womb lining. This makes it harder for sperm to move through your cervix, and less likely for your womb to accept a fertilised egg.
While the injection or Depo as its commonly known, is the more popular and relatively convenient to use method (you only need one injection every three months), experts say the method presents the worst side effects of most contraceptive methods.
Moses Ojwang Suna West Sub County Reproductive Health Coordinator qualifies this assertion saying the method introduces a larger amount of hormones into your body therefore it may take a longer time as compared to other methods to get out of your body. It can take up to 9 months after stopping use to get pregnant.
“We wouldn’t recommend this method for you if you want a method that is less hormonal and has a faster return to fertility especially if you have never given birth before” he adds.
The implant, which is inserted under your skin is effective for up to three or five years depending on the type used; has a relatively faster return to fertility rate.
Once the small rods are removed from the upper arm the ability to give birth should return to normal immediately according to manufacturers. There have however been few cases where women have had to wait for up to three months, according to Oscar Okoth a reproductive health quality assurance officer working for the USAID Health Communication and Marketing Program in Kisumu County.
The daily oral birth control pill also introduces hormones to your body and it may take anything up to 9 months to return to fertility.
This leaves you with only one method that assures you of an immediate return to fertility which is the IUD or coil. Despite the fact that it offers protection up to ten years, one can get pregnant immediately after removing the IUD.
So when you are thinking about birth control ask yourself these questions: how long do I want to be protected against unwanted pregnancy and how long am I willing to wait until I can fall pregnant after stopping a contraceptive method?

How long does it take to get pregnant after stopping a contraceptive method?
As more women in Kenya appreciate the need to plan pregnancy using modern family planning methods, more concerns by the same group has risen regarding long term effects of contraceptives.
Lots of women ask these questions: After using contraceptives, will I be able to fall pregnant as soon as I come off it? Will using birth control for a long period of time affect my fertility?
The answer to these questions lies in the type of contraceptive method or the family panning method one has decided to use.
It is adequately documented by experts that some contraceptive methods have no impact on your fertility once you come off them, and you can fall pregnant as soon as you stop using the method.
With others, especially those that introduces hormones in your body, it takes slightly longer time to return to fertility which means that even when you stop using them, it could take some time to fall pregnant.
The common methods that women use in Kenya are the 3-month injection known as Depo Provera; the contraceptive implants that are inserted on the upper arm; daily oral pills and intra-uterine device (IUD) commonly known as the coil.
All the methods mentioned above use hormones to prevent pregnancy from occurring except the IUD.
According to Dr. Stephen Gwer a medical doctor and a lecturer of Obstetrics and gynaecology at Maseno University School of medicine, hormonal contraceptives (the pill, implant and injection) all contain a small amount of man-made hormones that are released into the bloodstream at a slow and steady rates.
The hormone thickens the cervical mucus and thins the womb lining. This makes it harder for sperm to move through your cervix, and less likely for your womb to accept a fertilised egg.
While the injection or Depo as its commonly known, is the more popular and relatively convenient to use method (you only need one injection every three months), experts say the method presents the worst side effects of most contraceptive methods.
Moses Ojwang Suna West Sub County Reproductive Health Coordinator qualifies this assertion saying the method introduces a larger amount of hormones into your body therefore it may take a longer time as compared to other methods to get out of your body. It can take up to 9 months after stopping use to get pregnant.
“We wouldn’t recommend this method for you if you want a method that is less hormonal and has a faster return to fertility especially if you have never given birth before” he adds.
The implant, which is inserted under your skin is effective for up to three or five years depending on the type used; has a relatively faster return to fertility rate.
Once the small rods are removed from the upper arm the ability to give birth should return to normal immediately according to manufacturers. There have however been few cases where women have had to wait for up to three months, according to Oscar Okoth a reproductive health quality assurance officer working for the USAID Health Communication and Marketing Program in Kisumu County.
The daily oral birth control pill also introduces hormones to your body and it may take anything up to 9 months to return to fertility.
This leaves you with only one method that assures you of an immediate return to fertility which is the IUD or coil. Despite the fact that it offers protection up to ten years, one can get pregnant immediately after removing the IUD.
So when you are thinking about birth control ask yourself these questions: how long do I want to be protected against unwanted pregnancy and how long am I willing to wait until I can fall pregnant after stopping a contraceptive method?

By Oyier Emmanuel

Disclosure: don’t children born with HIV virus have a right to know?

aids

I really appreciate the interventions that have been made by both the government and NGOs in Kenya to counter the spread of HIV/AIDS. Various campaigns have been held across the country whose aim is to equip people with information on infection, care and prevention of new infections. Indeed I salute these reasonable and necessary steps that have been taken to curb the pandemic.

Despite my appreciation, I happen to have a concern about HIV/AIDs that keeps stinging me like a bee whenever I observe my society.
In a remote village in Seme, in a family of five, both parents and two of their children are HIV positive.
The daughter who is ten years and HIV negative plays with two of her younger siblings who are HIV positive outside their small hut. One of them gets a cut from a razor blade and the responsible older sister sucks blood from the cut surface. What if the older sister had a cut in the mouth?
Other children from the neighborhood join the game and they continue playing with the razor blade that had cut the other child. How many children get infected in this manner especially in the village?
In another village in Bondo is a 16 year old girl, an orphan, HIV positive, in form one and staying with her grandmother. All the girl knows is that she is taking drugs because of her chest problems and the porridge flour she is being given at the hospital is to boost her immune system for those drugs she has been taking since she was young. This girl also happens to be in a relationship with the son of their neighbor.
After observing these two scenarios, I believe my fear and concern about HIV in our country today can now be understood. I understand that ethics during HIV testing and counseling demands that the client or the parent of the client, in the case of minors, has a choice to disclose or not to disclose their HIV status to whomever whenever they wish. As we protect that right, could we be putting others at risk?
I tend to believe that a number of children born with the virus could be infecting others including their own siblings unintentionally while they are playing since they are not aware of what is happening to them. Since most parents tend to keep it a top secret, the children grow into teenagers and probably since they are virgins they don’t imagine they could be having the virus. Just like the scenario in Bondo, parents still don t disclose to their HIV positive children their status and explain why they are on drugs.
The children who get infected from their fellows when young get a big shock when they finally get tested. They may not be sexually active, none of their immediate family members HIV positive nor have they been transfused with blood. They wonder how they got infected!
I chose to share this fear with Amos Onderi from KMET, the officer in charge of the program that has HIV/AIDS interventions; he shared my worry concerning this serious but not yet identified matter. To confirm my fear, he also narrated to me the story of a 10 year old girl in Bondo who was found HIV positive after being tested in school. Since she did not believe the results, she went to be tested again and the results were the same. She was in shock given that her parents and siblings were all negative. Maybe she contracted the virus after sharing a sharp object with an infected child while playing.
Amos agrees with me that we need to package our information in a palatable manner to reach the very young ones. Parents too need to accept the reality and disclose to their children their HIV status early enough to reduce the number of children and teenagers getting infected.

It is my opinion that children born with the HIV virus have a right to be told why they are on medication and how they should take care of themselves and others around them as soon as they can comprehend. I rest my case!

By Lynette Ouma