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Philomena

Ampenyi, Ghana

“I want to learn how to sew clothes so I can make money and take care of my children. Having the implant will give me time to learn.”

Philomena is 18 years old and has two young children. Despite having some knowledge of contraception, the scare stories she’d heard about side effects had put her off seeking help. Like many young women, she wishes she could have had more control over the spacing of her pregnancies.

“I was 16 when I had my first child. I had lost my dad and things became difficult for my mother so I had to drop out of school because I couldn’t buy the equipment. Then I got pregnant. My first child is three years old and lives with my sister in the city of Kumasi. My second child is one year and seven months – she lives with me. My partner is a builder and I don’t work so he supports us.”

Philomena hadn’t intended to have children so close together but even though she was aware of contraception, she hadn’t sought it out because she was concerned about the side effects.

“I had heard bad things, like your stomach will grow big, and your period will mess up. If it wasn’t for these misconceptions, I’d have had family planning before, and I wouldn’t have had a second child. I wanted my first child to grow and do well. I wanted to space my children.”

“I had heard bad things, like your stomach will grow big, and your period will mess up. If it wasn’t for these misconceptions, I’d have had family planning before, and I wouldn’t have had a second child.”
Philomena

Overcoming misconceptions

It was after hearing a community announcement about the Marie Stopes International service that Philomena walked 30 minutes to attend the outreach clinic.

“I knew they’d be offering contraception here today. I’d like to try family planning, as my partner’s job isn’t going very well. I don’t want to give birth again if it means we will have trouble looking after our children. I want to wait until things are better. I’m planning to have the three-month injection, as I’m scared of longer-term methods.”

When she arrived at the clinic, Philomena was still unsure about what the treatment would involve. “I’ve heard that your skin is cut and stitched up when they insert the implant.”

After talking to our outreach worker about the different options available to her, Philomena decided to have a three-year implant. The procedure was quick and non-invasive, with no cutting or stitching involved.

“The service was very good; it was totally different to what I’d heard. I’ll recommend it to others, as some might have heard what I had – so now I can tell them it’s not like that."

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“I want to learn how to sew clothes so I can make money and take care of my children. Having the implant will give me time to learn.”

Empowering women with choice

In many regions, our outreach services are the only way women can access contraception and information about family planning. We are committed to delivering these services in even the most hard to reach places, so that women like Philomena can choose when or whether to have children – and by doing so, have greater control over their lives.

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By 2020 there will be more women of reproductive age than ever before

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