A professor of fetomaternal medicine, Babagana Bako has urged couples trying to conceive to stop taking contraceptives at least six months before planned conception.
According to the gynaecologist, it is unrealistic to stop using contraceptives and hope to get pregnant immediately.
Bako, who is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Maiduguri said women who have just stopped taking contraceptives should not worry that they have not yet conceived noting that pregnancy has to take its natural course.
Speaking in an interview, Bako said, “What I have noticed about women that complain about contraception is that they start the contraception when they are younger and when they stop, they want to get pregnant the following day. It is usually not possible. Pregnancy has to take a natural course.
“For example, if you are on contraceptive at the age of 25 and you take it for like 5 years and you stop at 30, if you’d want to get pregnant, you’d get pregnant within a year, most of the time six months to one year.
“Most of the ladies that I have seen will start worrying the moment they see their next cycle. They will think it’s contraception. That is not correct. Contraception will not stop you from getting pregnant but pregnancy has to take its natural course.
Bako said couples should plan their pregnancy. “So, if you are planning for pregnancy let’s say in 2022, in January 2022 you should stop your contraception so that before December you get pregnant. That is how it should be planned.
“It is better to plan your pregnancy. Some will get pregnant the following month; however, you know it’s only those that did not get pregnant that will complain. So, for that reason, it is better to plan.
“Not that a lady wants to be pregnant in February and then she stops contraception in January. Once it’s March she starts complaining, no, it’s not like that, it has to take its natural course,” he reiterated.
Bako also stressed that contraceptives should be taken after consultation with a physician, noting that not all contraceptives will work for every lady.
Bako noted also that contraceptives have some health benefits to the user.
He said, “One of the benefits of contraceptives is that if a woman is on contraception, her menses will reduce – that is the quantity of blood she would lose during her menses will reduce – that will make her conserve blood and she would be healthier.
“Again, contraception reduces the rate at which things like fibroid grow and again they also reduce the risk of particularly ovarian and endometrial cancer for women that do not have it.”