By Dr Zainab Suleiman
In Nigeria, especially in the Northern part of the country, it is a known fact that women have been known for the use of crude methods to improvise for their sexual deficiencies.
In a recent study, it is perceived that women believe that douching their vaginas with concussions and other caustic solutions would enhance sexual excitement through tightness or warmth.
They use emergency contraception methods like salt, lime, alum. They even go as far as douching with kerosene and herbal solutions which turn out to have toxic components, a scenario that has adverse effect on their reproductive system.
On the flip side, the health and social consequences of this practice is so alarming and increasingly, evidence is sprouting which suggest some adverse health effects of this practice which include HIV infection, breast, and cervical cancer, bacterial vaginosis, inflammatory disease (PID), post-coitus bleeding, which may be as a result of vaginal laceration, hypertrophy, and erosion of the cervix, just to mention a few.
It is even an obvious fact that women could burn themselves because the vaginal area is so sensitive to all sorts of receptors and this practice can be painful and later difficult to treat.
There is a natural way the vagina cleans itself which doesn’t include the steaming process. At the right level, a healthy vagina has a bacteria that keeps its ph constant but disrupting this through steaming or douching portends a great danger.
Available figures have shown that the reproductive health status in the aforementioned region turn out to be the worse.
It is believed that the women who don’t have the tightness down there are often ridiculed, thus their penchant and unrelenting efforts to use whatever means to tighten its slackness.
Many girls and women turn to the street products like alum, epsom salts, to help shrink up the vagina. Some get their vulva “cooked” up by sitting on steamy concoctions and smokes so as to stiffen the vagina tissues.
All these in the bid to satisfy their partners or to have the opening returned to its primeval size and shape after having several or numerous sex partners that they don’t want their partner to have the slightest knowledge of.
These unrefined practices have been proven by studies, especially those in the reproductive health to have injurious effects and should be discouraged.
The use of alum on the vagina is so irritating, especially to its lining, it’s so bad under there because it scars the lining.
Most of these products are chemical substances that are meant only for industrial use like in water purification machines, textiles industries and others. In contact with human, they leave lasting, negative effects on the human skin.
Moreover, it is undeniably true that there is a surging increase in the demand for sex – related products in the global world. A growing trend, spurring a boom in the demand for sex – related objects, from lubricants to sex toys, contraceptives and lingerie.
The latest is the notorious herbs and spices that serve as sexual enhancers. These herbs and spices come in varying degrees and types.
No thanks to Nigeria’s sex industry which is evolving so fast, albeit the conservative and cultural proclivities that frown at the lewdness of many sexual issues.
These sexual enhancers popularly referred to as Kayamata is widely common and used mostly in the Northern parts of Nigeria by both sexes; the women and men.
Although, It’s referred to as Maza in the male circus. These Kanyamata come in different forms; perfumes, tablets, scrabs, and ditches.
According to Faridah Ahmed, a user explains their application and significance to women in her place with the general idea behind it which is to achieve pleasure so much with one’s spouse, even to an extent the husband is pleased enough with the woman not to look outside their matrimonial bond.
Nevertheless, a research recently carried out reveals these Sex enhancers have been drastically misused by their users, hence their abuse, with some vendors mixing other products to them to boost their potency, with utter neglect of the harms they could cause.
It is evident that there are lots of dangers with the use of Kayan Mata, but sadly, a lot of women do not seem to pay attention to them. Women are therefore warned to desist from inserting or clipping their cervical tissues as this practice can tear the cervical tissues or such women might even risk the growth of cervical cancer.
Men are not left out of this iniquitous practice, as they also use some of these as stimulants and libido boosters but sadly, Maza also makes them cancer-prone. Prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer are some diseases they can as well subject themselves to due to the prolonged usage of these Sex enhancers.
Many of our men are ignorant of the deadly hazards attached to the use of these products which leaves room for complications to develop and make them die in silence and getting to find out later would make them broken.
According to the Public Health Education, Nigeria with a research project publications in the International Journal of Traditional and Natural Medicines, the use of Kayan Mata has its benefits, but the side effects have overridden such benefits.
Most of these herbal medicines used in the treatment of sexual dysfunctions harbour harmful pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria. The laboratory analysis of some of the herbs come out to show that they can harbour an appreciable amount of bacteria. Interestingly, a host of people do not even bother to wash the wild fruits before being consumed, a situation which raises concerns especially for public health experts.
With the soaring increase in the demand and amount of Kanyamata market in our societies and its unregulated nature, it’s believed that with the unscrupulous merchants in the business of mixing harmful substances with their concoctions and their unsuspecting customers are left to their mercy to ingest such harmful materials which will later impair them health-wise. And with the toxic chemicals and heavy metals they contain, such can damage their liver and as well as cause kidney failure especially when they react with other drugs in the body.
Moreover, a syndromic behaviour like Kanyamata Withdrawal demeanour can ensue from this. A symptomatic effect with arises from the discontinuous or reduction in the dosage of some types of drugs. A scenario where a woman who can previously get wet for sex now unable to lubricate for sex after a withdrawal from Kanya Mata; Vaginal dryness.
The Mental Health and spiritual issues that arise from such practice cannot also be wished away. Many mongers and sellers of these sexual enhancers during their advertisement do claim that the materials have magical commands that could help their customers gain undeserved benefits from men, or women but according to a scientific study, many of those who patronise these products do suffer mental health problems after series of disappointments which arise from their usage.
It is worthy of note that favor extracting portions can lead to dire consequences, especially those connected with mental wellness.
It’s common knowledge that herbal medicine has adverse effects when it comes to drug interactions. Most commonly used drugs interact with herbs. The use of Kanya Mata may inhibit the healing effects of medication, common examples are anesthetics, sedative drugs. They can as well block the medications from working properly and completely in the bloodstream. Undoubtedly, this can as well lead to unexpected, dire consequences.
To regulate these materials in order to have their abuse checked, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC whose capacity also span around the manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of certain products should, as a matter of urgency and priority swing to action to help curtail the mal – handling of these products. A proper product – vetting and laboratory analysis should be employed before these materials are allowed for consumption by their users. And upon being certified for consumption, a registration number should be designated to every sort of the products, all in the bid to ward off unscrupulous vendors of these products.
The Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria should not be left out of the check. They should mandate their agencies to carry out sensitization programmes in form of educating the general populace about the deleterious effects of some of these aphrodisiacs and sex sweetners in the market. Their professional bodies should help develop and enforce quality standard designed to help safeguard the interests of consumers.
Lastly, our women and men should seek alternative and better options than using these products to treat their sexual inefficiencies. They should desist from patronising sex-boosting drug sellers without medical backing and certification. They can simply help their sexual or romantic life by paying visits to a certified sex therapist, which in every way is better than those harmful sexual enhancing drugs, doing so, they are not just keeping themselves away from noxious and destructive diseases but also helping to make the society a better place through their practice towards wellness.