Let’s get real here; who are the real initiators of conversations on contraception in relationships and marriages? Most often, it is the woman. She will mention that she is not on her safe days or that she is on a pill or heck, even ask the man if he has a rubber. The issue of contraception has been largely left to women either consciously or subconsciously. It gets even worse when a woman is blamed for “getting herself” pregnant or not being careful enough. The man in the picture is not talked about or even blamed because the question of childbearing has been delegated to the woman. What is even more enraging is that women have been left by their partners because they got pregnant and others have also been left because they did not get pregnant.
Today, lets talk about the role of men in contraception decision-making.
What is a man’s attitude towards contraception and pregnancy?
Some men feel shut out by their women and that they are not consulted. This is because the women themselves take the initiative, without necessarily consulting their men.
Other men are not sure what kind of involvement will lead to positive outcomes. It is a fact that some women may not welcome the idea of their men having a say in whether they should get contraception and the kind as well. Not being on the same page on such serious issues may strain the relationship.
In as much as not many programs provide reproductive health services for males, an integrated approach to male involvement is needed.
Should there he school-based clinics where boy young men and women are taught about contraceptives and help men from a young age be involved in contraception decision making?
In the long run, major cultural and economic changes need to take place if men are to assume more responsibility for their role in reproduction.