Abedo could not believe it. After an uncomfortable internal examination followed by an ultrasound, her doctor said the coil had moved out of place. She also confirmed that Abedo was eight weeks pregnant.
Abedo’s doctor was a middle-aged, smallish looking lady, who always dressed quite brightly, too flashy for a doctor in Abedo’s opinion. Her earrings were always too big, she always had a long gold necklace on, her hair was in dreads and her make-up was just a tad bit loud. But Dr Adediran was very good in her field and was one of the best gynaecologists around so that Abedo and her friends would not see any doctor beside her if they could help it.
Today, Abedo was not very impressed with her. She had given Abedo an accusatory look when she found out the coil was displaced. The kind of look only third world healthcare professionals ever gave their patients. She had always wondered at the huge difference in patient-doctor interactions between the developed world and the developing world. The reason this surprised her was, remove the same doctor from Nigeria and put him in Oz or England and you would get a totally different service, a more positive experience. At least, so she had been told by her friends living in England and Australia. This was despite the pay out of pocket health care service in Nigeria unlike in the other two countries where healthcare was subsidised or free.
She did not allow her doctor’s look rub her off the wrong way. Instead, she asked, “So doctor, what could have caused the coil to move out of its place?”
Doctor Adediran replied, “It is not always clear what causes a displaced coil. However, it can happen when the womb gets bigger for any reason. We always advise women to check their coils regularly by feeling for the thread at least once a month usually immediately after their periods. When last did you check that your coil was in place?”
Abedo looked blank. No wonder the doctor had looked at her like she did not know what she was doing. She had not checked the coil since she had it inserted a year ago. She had thought she had absolutely nothing to worry about for at least five years. She could not remember being advised about regular coil thread checks.
She did not reply the doctor. Instead, she asked, “So what are my options now? Will the baby be okay?”
Dr Adediran looked surprised. She asked Abedo, “Do you want to keep this pregnancy Mrs Badmus? I thought you said it might cause some difficulties in your relationship with your husband.”
Abedo, still looking expressionless at her doctor, took in a deep breath and said, “Doctor I am keeping this baby.” She repeated, “So what are my options?”
Dr Adediran proceeded to explain Abedo’s options to her. She advised that it was better to remove the coil as soon as possible to reduce complications such as miscarriage and preterm labour. She would have to conduct another internal exam, a more detailed one to do this. She also said she might not be successful in removing the coil. Dr Adediran said removing the coil immediately did not eliminate the possibility that she could have a miscarriage but there was a relatively smaller risk compared to if the coil was left in.
As Dr Adediran spoke, Abedo stared into space. When they were finished, Abedo thanked the doctor and left her office. She stopped at the receptionist’s on her way out and booked an appointment with the doctor for the next day.
As she drove home, she rehearsed how she would break the news to Eda.