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Exciting Experiences Around Family Planning 
by: Kokom  Komariyah

Speaking about KB (Family Planning), I have some exciting, sad, and funny experiences. One day, I delivered a dissemination on KB in cooperation with KB counselors from Subdistrict to members of majelis taklim (a forum where people gather to discuss and learn about Islam) in my hometown. Because most of the people in my village still considered taboo when we discussed about male and female reproductive organs, one by one the audience left meeting venue. Mostly when one of the KB counselors showed the example of male genital organ or ‘penis’ prop , many young girls screamed spontaneously and left the room. Actually the intention of KB counselor was to explain how to use condom. Oh la la…

So far, I mostly disseminated KB program through ‘dakwah bil hal’ or direct dissemination (by using myself as a role model). For example, when the health workers offered an insertion of free Intra Uterine Device (IUD) contraceptive, in front of the audience, I registered myself spontaneously, so other women will follow. Alhamdulillah praise be to Allah, for four years I have been using free IUD from the government, I don’t have any complaints, I feel safe. This kind of experience I always tell to women of fertile couples in my village. 

Of course, several women complained on side effects of some hormonal contraceptive tools, like injection. Some women got bleeding, although it was a very little spot but took quite some time. The injected person became fatter, did not get her menstruation, and some of them got whitish. To answer those questions, I gave education and dissemination regarding reproductive health to women in majelis taklim. I used dialogue method and combined it with some jokes, so they would feel more comfortable, they would not be shy anymore. I did not forget to inform the advantage and disadvantage of using all those kinds of contraceptives. I firmly told them to choose which one of those contraceptives that fit for their bodies and health. The women’s bodies are their own sovereignity and rights, therefore nobody have rights to enforce any woman whether to use certain contraceptives or not. 

I also did KB counseling from door to door, for example when one of the resident of my hometown gave birth, I visited her and explained about significance in joining KB to maintain birth spacing. Most young couples nowadays recognize the necessity of joining KB program, KB is not merely related to contraceptives, but also how they plan a qualified family. To the couple who already had many children, I always suggest them to build a harmonious and sakinah (harmonious and tranquil) family. 

I myself have a lot of experiences in using contraceptive tools. I used the injection once after delivering my first child and never got menstruation after that. After stopping from the injection, I had a very long menstruation time, to stop it I should be injected again by midwife. I used the pills and got a very bad headache. I used female condom, but I did not feel comfortable because I was afraid it would leave inside my body.  And now I am using IUD almost for four years, I did not feel any side effects, only sometimes it disturbed my husband. These experiences I think should be delivered in explaining Sexual and Reproductive Health topic to women, to raise their awareness in joining KB program to improve family and social welfare. In the end, experience is the best teacher. [] Kokom


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