Dear Bunmi,

I am in my early 40s and a single mother. I have a partner I love so much but we don’t want any children as we’ve got some from our previous relationships. I’m currently on the pill but I bleed a lot. What are my chances of getting pregnant at my age? My last child is 16.
Jannete
By e-mail.

Dear Jeanette,
Natural fertility fades fast among women in their 40s, but it is still possible to fall pregnant right up to the menopause. If you are healthy, not overweight and a non-smoker, you can use the pill until then. There are alternatives you might want to consider.

The IUS – There’s a tendency for periods to get heavier as you get older and the Intra Uterine System (IUS) is a great way to get five or more years of good contraceptive cover and reduce your bleeding, It’s a small plastic T-shaped device that sits in the uterus and releases the hormone progestogen. It works by preventing sperm from reaching and fertilising any eggs but may also stop a fertilized egg from settling in the womb. It can also reduce    monthly bleeding.

The implant- This is a small plastic rod that’s inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It releases the hormone progestogen and works by changing the mucus of the cervix so the sperm can’t reach the egg. The implant usually lasts for three years.

Sterilization can be considered as a last resort for those who are sure they don’t want any more children. Female sterilization involves an operation where the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked so that eggs can’t pass down to the womb. Male sterilization is a simpler procedure and can be done in a doctor’s surgery. The tubes that carry the sperm from the testes are cut and tied off so although a man can still ejaculate, it won’t contain any sperm.

A woman’s choice of contraception is very individual and no methods are without their side-effects. So take your time to decide the option that best suits you and your life style.

My parents’ marriage is violent

Dear Bunmi,
My parents are always having violent quarrels. My father is always shouting, using and throwing articles of furniture, dishes and glasses at my mother. He is rushing up to her at the slightest provocation and shaking his first in her face before he beats her up.

I always worry that one day he would kill or maim her but when I pleaded with my mother to leave him, she turned on me. She shouted and shamed me by calling me a thankless child after all the things she’s done for me.

I can’t stand these quarrels and insane temper anymore. I am only seventeen and my friends don’t come to the house any more as I can no longer bear the shame of their seeing the type of animal my father is.

I don’t have any relatives I could go and live with. Is there anything else I could do to make them stop?

May
By e-mail

Dear May
Only adults can understand why they enjoy violence so much, but be rest assured that some adults also adore violence.

I sympathize with your helplessness in this matter but since your mother doesn’t seem to mind, the least you could do is to go somewhere else when the quarrels start or shut yourself in a room.

When your mother is in a jolly mood, try and let her see the emotional trauma you are going through. You might just get through to her.

Why is he so crude?

Dear Bunmi,

Not too long ago, I started seeing a man who is handsome, loving, kind-in fact, everything I like in a man. I totally fell for him and was convinced we had a future together. We went out together and everything was fme. Nothing sexual happened between us in the first couple of dates, apart from a few kisses on the cheek and a hug.
I was ready to take things a little further, but I wasn’t prepared for what happened the next time I saw him. He parked the car at a quiet spot and begged me to give him oral sex. I was shocked, I told him I’d rather get to know him better as we’d only been seeing each other a few weeks, and he got annoyed and upset. I suggested we could do it another time but now I’m not so sure. Do you think he’s trying to use me sexually?

Foluke,
By e-mail

Dear Foluke,

It certainly sounds as though he is more interested in sex than in you as a person. Your reluctance to have your first intimate sexual encounter with him in the stuffy surrounding of a car is entirely understandable, especially as you hardly know the man. Could he be married and not free to take you to his place’?

Cool things down by telling him that you don’t feel ready for any sort of sex with him yet. If he cannot accept that and is not prepared to build up an emotional relationship with you first, he’s not the man for you.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.