Recently a certain church member was under fire for suggesting in not so many words that women need to stop breeding, and some people were not to happy about this comment.
I am not even gonna venture there…
Family Planning does exist in the Bahamas believe it or not. It is offered for free at the community clinics and the hospital. Now if you read my post Surviving PMH you know I am not the biggest fan of the public sector but overall they do get the job done, most of the time.
From what I understand women can get real forms of birth control at the community clinic. Depo Provera which is a contraceptive shot that prevents pregnancy, this can be given every three months. You also have the choice of going on the “pill”. I am not entirely sure of the variations available for the pill but I know this option does exist and then there is the ole faithful condom. If you want something a bit different say the IUD (Intrauterine Device), The Patch or any other form of contraceptive you will have to seek a private facility or sign up through the hospital.
I played devils advocate one day and decided to venture to the hospital to sign up for the IUD, I was told my appointment date would be in April…Keep in mind we are in the month of January but moving right along here.
So we have these bountiful options for birth control which is great and did I mention free? Women can visit the nearest community clinic and sign up for any of the services. Each clinic has different days where services are available but for the most part it’s a pretty easy process once you pass the pregnancy test (a small fee is charged here) you are signed up for the contraceptive of your choice.
Let’s talk about your appointment day. This is the day you get your goodies, so you can be thumping and humping without a care in the world. But wait, not so fast. This process can be tiring and easily consume your entire day.
First you have to register. Simple right just go to the window give them your card and register or so I thought. Turns out persons come out at the crack of dawn, drop card off and get an early number because it is a number system. I am talking as early as 5.30am!! There’s a security guard there that assists with this process. Oh and the clinic does not open until 8am but stay with me here.
If you somehow were not able to wake up and come out your bed at the crack of dawn then please revert to the registration window. If you have to revert to this option please know you maybe waiting to be served a very long time.
Insert waiting area. 9 times out of 10 there are NOT enough chairs. So if you have weak ankles this process will not work for you! Now if you are new to this here is where it can get a bit confusing. Apparently you are to automatically go in the “back” area and have your vitals checked. However, no one really tells you to do this. Sporadically a nursing auxiliary or nurse comes out and yells to check your vitals but for the most part there is no method to this madness. So if you are like me and you are waiting for a sensible system of doing things, chances are you would be sitting there for coon’s age.
During this time a nursing auxiliary will check three things. Your weight, Your Urine and Your Blood Pressure. This happens at every single visit. Oh and there is a line to complete EACH of these things…
Here is where I wanted to vomit!!
DISPOSABLE URINE CUPS!
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! But it was real and persons were actually using these. Rinsing and reusing. Can you imagine the germs! I am cringing just thinking about it! So if you are going this route please buy your own medical/sample cup, tissue, hand soap, sanitizer and napkin and I’ll just leave that right there, but we have carnival… 😑
Once your vitals are completed you resume the waiting area and wait to be called a second time (well technically you weren’t called a first time but you know what I mean).
So your name was finally called! This time around you are interviewed by a nurse. Most of them are pleasant at this stage. They ask you questions about your health and make sure you aren’t experiencing any negative side effects from the contraceptives being administered.
Then you go back to the waiting area and once again wait for your name to be called. Good Luck if you have a non traditional name. They might have called you already and you just didn’t understand them for the life of you. You should be getting your contraceptive of choice during this session and hopefully on your way home.
If for some reason you are not lucky and need to see the Doctor you go back to the waiting area. Some visits require a doctors touch.You may have had an irregular blood pressure reading or during this visit your pap smear is due. There n be various reasons you have to stay behind, so get comfortable, bring a book or make sure your phone has data. The Doctor doesn’t arrive until 10am or 11ish…if youre lucky.
This pretty much sums up an average visit to the community clinic for your contraceptive. You know, so yinna women can stop breeding. 😒
Each community clinic more than likely has their own procedures for this process but for the most part the end result and wait time is still the same.
As with every thing medical I would encourage women to always do your research and find out which forms of contraceptives are right for your body.
Happy Family Planning..
Till next time..