Marriage is painted by many as an institution where freedom of sexual intimacy is a must and free for a couple. Sex seals love between a man and a woman, but then what happens when it comes introducing protective methods in the relationship.
One would expect that all, or nearly all, married women have used some form of family planning. But this is not the case. According to Dama study by Consumer Insight, a whopping 46% of 26 and over year-olds married women have not used family planning. 47 % of those who have used family planning have tried a condom, making the latex sheath the single most popular experimental method of family planning even with married couples.
Interestingly none of the people we interviewed cited infidelity as the reason why they use condoms. Does that mean that no one is courageous enough to face their partners and make them use condoms?
1. To prevent infections
Married couples who have an infection either because one was born HIV positive or contracted herpes from a previous partner or doesn't want to infect the other. Maybe one of them works in a career that has them coming into regular contact with blood-borne pathogens. Janet Mwongeli, a mother of two who has lived with H.I.V for the last 18 years is one of the people who has lived like this.
"Of-course when I met my ex-husband six years ago he was a bit scared when I opened up about my situation. We used condoms most of the time when we decided to have my second child since I already had a child from a previous relationship," Janet told the Nairobian. Janet says that although the viral load is suppressed so much when one is taking ARV's most people are still not ready to take any risks and thus the need to use protection in a marriage.
2. Birth control A popular radio presenter once shocked her fans when she announced on her social media pages that she was still using condoms with her husband two babies later. "I don't know how people survive with contraceptives. I can't keep track of those things. I can't get an injection and there is no way I'm going to walk around with a coil in my body," she said.
While forgetfulness is one of the reason condoms are a preferred means of birth control by married other women avoid it because they suffer from cardiovascular diseases and it would put them at a high risk for stroke, or because it gives her severe nausea. It could also be against her religion, or she just doesn't like synthetic hormones in her body.
3. To prolong the sexual encounters
Some men just can't hold it in form more than 60 seconds and in this case a married couple use condoms to prolong the sexual encounter and make the man last longer before orgasming. Mark Odhiambo, a 45 year old father of two says he started using condoms with his wife of 15 years when she hit menopause. "I don't see the big deal my wife started enjoying sex and when she wanted me to last longer as she wanted more. Using condoms has actually spiced up our bedroom life as I keep going for hours," he said.
4. It's less messy
While some partners feel closer to each other when they have raw intercourse other's find it messy. Loise Chebet a 35 year old who has been married for two years now says she only has sex with her husband without a condom recently when she is ovulating since she is trying for a baby. "It creates time for cuddling since my favourite part of sexual encounter is holding each other afterwards, and condoms make it such that we can lay there and cuddle with minimal interruption for clean-up," she said.
A research by Dr Michael Carroll, a lecturer in Reproductive Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, says that women up to 12 per cent of women could be allergic to semen, some so severely that exposure could cause anaphylactic shock. Women aged 20 to 30 are thought to be worst affected, displaying symptoms immediately or up to one hour after exposure.
Symptoms include irritation, itching, painful urination and eczema, but in the most severe cases, exposure to semen can cause a potentially fatal allergic reaction. Lynne Moraa, a 28 year old who has been married for two years now says she has tried everything else to get over her semen allergy but it's not working.
"At first I thought I had an STD because I developed a rush. This was way before I even got married. I visited a gynecologist who gave me some pills but they did not work. This has drained my relationship although my husband knew before we even got married," Lynne said