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    Sunday, 19 November 2017

    Low loop uptake as Zim men fear obstruction


    SIPHATHISIWE MATHAMBO

    MASVINGO – There is a low uptake of the loop as a contraceptive method in Zimbabwe due to a lot of misconceptions by men including that the inserted loop will prick them during sex.
    ZNFPC marketing and communications officer, Linda Hwenga said this after a training programme for 40 nurses who will insert  the Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) or the loop in  women. The five-day training programme which was jointly conducted by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the ZNFPC was held at Nemamwa from September 18 to 22 2017.
    She said that although the loop or IUCD is one of the safest and effective contraceptive methods its uptake is just 0,4% compared to pills for example which are used for contraception on 43,9%. This is according to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey done in 2014.
    The loop is a copper iron wound around a T-shaped copper device which is inserted in the uterus. It works by immobilising sperms so that their speed is reduced and this renders them too weak to fertilise the eggs. The loop also produces ions in the uterus which make the environment unfavourable for the sperm.
    Compared to pills, the loop has less side effects as it does not affect the woman's hormones, added Hwenga.
    She said that because of cultural and other misconceptions, men also consider the vagina 'sacred' and they would not want it to be fiddled around with hence the shunning of the method.
    Another reason for the low uptake is that there has not been enough staff in health centres trained to insert the loop. Many people would be ready to go to hospitals to have the loop inserted but there are usually no trained personnel to do that.
    "The loop is one of the best methods but its uptake remains very low because of various reasons including lack of trained personnel and cultural and other misconceptions. According to a survey, a lot of men believe the inserted loop will prickle their penis during sex and therefore disturb them from enjoying the act. 
    This is however, is not true because the loop is inserted in the womb where the penis cannot reach.
    "Other men do, not want their wives' or partners' vaginas fiddled with; they consider them sacred and therefore the spouses stay away from the loop method," said Hwenga.
    She told The Mirror that the most used contraceptive method in Zimbabwe is the pill at 43,9%; injectibles 9%; implants 8,4%; female sterilization 0,9%; withdrawal methods 0,3%; traditional methods 0,2% and abstinence for a period 0,1%
    The condoms are used by 3,3%.
    The loop is a long term and reversible contraception suitable for a variety of women as it is more than 99% effective. 
    This method of contraception starts working immediately after insertion and a woman can have sexual intercourse safely soon after insertion. The loop can be removed with immediate return to fertility.
    "We are promoting the use of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARCs) among women. One of the most effective methods is the loop yet it is used by a few women," said Hwenga.
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