Nicole Vigan, 24-year-old mother Abomey-Calavi (Calavi health zone), Benin
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Nicole Vigan, I am 24 years old, I come from a big family of seven children. I am not married yet but I have a 3-year-old child
Was family planning discussed in your home as a child?
Yes, several times, but my mom didn't like it, because she had tried it, and she had an abundance of periods, she was in period for a whole month.
What does family planning mean to you?
Family Planning for me is, first of all, ordering one's body to procreate in a given period (planning a pregnancy). It is a way to control the delivery. And also, family planning regulates periods. This is what interested me the most about FP, because I had irregular periods. Sometimes I would have my period only this month and then I would not see it again until two or three months later. But when I went on the pill, every twenty-eight days I see my period.
How and why did you choose FP?
Well, I used to take birth control pills before and it became a bit restrictive for me, because I am often busy. With time, I also wanted to protect myself better. That's when I started researching injectables, I tried to see a little bit about the composition of the injections and their duration of two months, three months. But when I consulted an older sister for advice, that's when she explained to me that the three-month injections are not recommended for young ladies. So I preferred to visit a health facility to find out more about my menstrual situation and that's when I saw the importance of adopting the two-month injections. And this is how I adopted continuous FP.
Why is family planning important to you?
It's important to be sure that when you go out with someone, you can get pregnant, and be abandoned by the man because he is not ready to have a child. This is my situation at the moment. The father of my child is not here. He also had twins elsewhere with another girl. So if I had adopted a planning method, it's clear that I wouldn't have had children now. So it allows you to be sure first that the spouse is ready to go down the road with you, and then based on that the rest can follow.
And in relation to economic activities, tell us a little about what you do?
We are specialized in office automation, computer, scanning and others, we also produce liquid soap in large quantities, juice and others.
Is there a connection between economic work and family planning - what is it going to do for you, the fact that you came today to take the injectables, or what is it going to change in your life for you?
In my life, it will allow me to do my activities freely, not to worry about an unplanned pregnancy, or an abortion and to carry out my activities. In short, in terms of work, I will be really free and not worry about tomorrow.
And if you were to help us improve our work, what would you advise us to do?
The first thing is to inform women about the benefits and the importance of family planning. As far as family planning is concerned, the woman must be well oriented on the different methods to adopt after good counseling. It will also be necessary to have a close follow-up of the person on mainly period regularity and complications related to menstruation, because according to my research, I found an application that allows me to ask the following question "which method would be ideal for me"? And there, the application asked me some questions. Do you have diabetes? Do you have high blood pressure? So clinics and hospitals need to have a good counseling approach for each patient.
Finally, if you had to give a message to other women, what would you tell them?
I would just tell them that family planning is a very good thing. It gives women time to think about themselves, to plan births properly, to carry out activities and to think about their future. I would tell them that FP really does guarantee a good future.