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Family planning does not cause infertility, fibroid — Dr Farouk Jega

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By Chioma Obinna

Worried about the myths and misconception surrounding family planning, Country Director of Pathfinder International Nigeria, Dr. Farouk Jega has dismissed insinuation that adopting family planning may cause the development of fibroid and infertility, saying it is safe for all women.

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The Country Director who threw light on the raging issue during a three-day capacity building workshop on Investigative Journalism organised by the organisation in Lagos said there is no link between them.

According to him, family planning does not suggest in any way that a woman should absolutely not have children, rather, it helps a woman space and limit birth to the number of children she can cater for.

“There are several studies that have shown that birth spacing for a number of years, at least for a minimum of two years between one pregnancy and the next have a lot of health benefits and none of the studies has shown any relationship with any disease or disorder including fibroid.

“What we know is that there is a definite correlation between fibroid developing in the womb and some forms of infertility but that is not to say that it is because the woman refused to have children that the fibroid arose.

“It may be the same genetic factors that are responsible for the woman not having children that are also the same factors that are responsible for the fibroid to grow” he stated.

Jega explained that millions of women that have taken up family planning never developed fibroid as long as they have had children before and are using family planning either to space or limit the number of children they were having.

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“There is a strong relationship between fibroid and infertility but there isn’t any correlation between limiting or spacing of children and fibroid,” he argued.

Decrying attitude of family planning providers in the country, he said a knowledgeable family planning service provider would make a lot of difference in family planning services.

According to him, well-informed service providers will bring about enormous change towards building trust in the adoption of family planning uptakes in Nigeria.

Jega stated that every woman, especially in developing economies like Nigeria deserves quality family planning information irrespective of her age in order to make an informed decision.  He said: “Pathfinder International Nigeria believes in provision of quality family planning information for families, and mostly women and there is no coercion on the part of women as far as issues on family planning is concerned.”

Jega further encouraged women to have children early in order to avoid having babies with congenital deformities.

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