“Women Protest for lack of men to make them Pregnant” – I came across this news article on my Facebook wall, and so i clicked on the link to read more about the story. It turned out that the men were actually available but are always too drunk to get their women pregnant. The story sounded funny that women could take to the street because their men have “killed all their fertile sperm” with too much alcohol in their blood stream. These women desperately wanted to become mothers.
This brings to mind the many African women who are blamed for their inability to give birth to children. 3months into a marriage, a wife begin to get stares and questions like,”how far”, meaning are you pregnant yet? By six months, the question becomes, “i hope everything is alright”. A number of women struggle to keep their marriage when the babies are not forthcoming as expected. In-laws begin to taunt such a woman, making life unbearable for her. Friends and family suggest that the man should marry another woman to give him children. If the woman is lucky she may have the privileged knowledge of this, if she is not, she finds out at the man’s graveside. I remember the story of Susan (not real name). She and her husband battled for many years to have a baby but fate didn’t smile on her. Her husband died and all his family could think of was “their brothers property”. In their culture since Susan didn’t give birth to any child for her husband, she had no right to any inheritance. Susan’s in-laws left her with nothing, leaving behind an emptiness and a bitterness.
When a couple is having difficulty with having children both of them should look inwards to find out what actually needs fixing. Some men would even refuse to go for a fertility test,claiming that they are perfectly ok and capable of impregnating their wives. Going for such a test as far as he is concerned is saying he is “impotent”. Another couple that i know comes to mind. They already had a child but it was taking too long for a second baby to come. It spanned through 7yrs. All the while Funbi(Not real name) had been the one going for medical check and doing so many tests/procedure that even got her sick. After much insistence and appeal, the man, Aderopo(not real name) finally showed up at the hospital for a fertility test. It turned out that he had a serious case of low sperm count. Their doctor prescribed a treatment and the man seemed interested in trying out the plan. Soon afterwards he refused to take his medication and follow the treatment plan. Frustrated this Funbi had to report to a family member who prevailed on Aderopo. It was simply a case of his ego refusing to accept that he was the one responsible for their long wait. The good news was that the treatment worked and they had another baby. Imagine if Funbi didn’t have understanding in-laws.
A healthy life style is important to raising a family. Too much of anything is bad and this is no less for too much intake of alcohol whether by the woman or man. An Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Patrick O’Brien , says: “Excessive alcohol lowers testosterone levels and sperm quality and quantity in men. It can also reduce libido, and cause impotence.”Too much drinking can greatly reduce a couple’s chances of conceiving, therefore a couple working at having babies should start with a life style change.
By Adebisi Adetunji