Families in the area of Traditional Authority Champiti in Ntcheu district have testified that Natural Family Planning (NFP) contraceptive method is ideal as compared to other methods, saying it cheap and more effective.
This was revealed during a media tour organized by Norwegian Church Aid and DanChurch Aid (NCA/DCA) under a Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SHRR) program dubbed N’zatonse being implemented in the district by Dedza Diocese Catholic Health Commission with funding from Germany government.
Natural family planning is a method of contraception where a woman monitors and records different fertility signals during her menstrual cycle, to work out when she is likely to get pregnant and the man is supposed to withdraw before ejaculation to prevent the risk of pregnancy.
Speaking during the meeting that brought together different families at Nsipe Catholic Church on Monday, Marko Chiyenda said since the method does not involve the use of any medication, there is no any side effect associated with it.
Chiyenda added that since his family adopted the natural family planning method in 2016, his wife has not been subjected to any kind of illnesses as she used to do when they were using other methods and he has also testified that there is a strong bond when it comes to sex.
Joana Ng’oma from Taoloka Village in the area of Group Village headman Pheza in the same Traditional Authority, said they also use Cycle Beads; a color-coded string of beads that help them use the Standard Days Method, a clinically tested natural method of family planning that enables women to manage their own fertility.
Ng’oma said using Cycle Beads, a woman can track her menstrual cycle, identify the days when unprotected intercourse is likely to result in pregnancy, and monitor her cycle length.
She said a woman abstains on her potentially fertile days of the menstrual cycle, to avoid pregnancy.
“We use Cycle Beads by placing the rubber ring on the red bead on the first day of period. We move the ring one bead each day. We abstain from sex when the ring is on any white bead because you can likely become pregnant.
“We always have unprotected sex when the ring is on any brown bead because it is safe and not likely to get pregnant on those days. We move the ring to the red bead again when the next period starts, skipping over any remaining beads,” she said
Ng’oma said child spacing is also easy to manage when using natural family planning method as everyone has a say when it comes to child bearing and that it also propel faithfulness in the family.
Concurring with Ng’oma, Kelita Chilaka said NFP also promotes self-awareness and can alert couples on potential health and fertility problems. She however indicated that they have not faced any problem with the method since 2017 when they adopted it.
Catholic Health Commission N’zatonse project Officer Gray Chanansi said during the onset of the project, they trained and empowered three families to be counselors and the families are doing the best in as far as NFP awareness is concerned.
“Issues to do with Natural Family Planning methods are going on well and the adoption rate is encouraging as people have started to appreciate the benefits attached to this method. This method does not require any chemical use and it is simple,” he said.
Chanansi said the method also empowers women to make decisions when it comes to family planning issues.