BABY BOOM

Will the stay-at-home directive lead to the birth of more children?

With couples forced to spend more time together, it will be interesting to see if more children are born in the next nine months

In Summary

• There are 5,029 live births average per day (209.54 in an hour) in Kenya

• This could shoot up as couples escape worries and boredom during the quarantine

Pregnancy
Pregnancy

All over the world, citizens are being urged to stay at home to save themselves from infection and stop the spread of the Covid-19 disease. 

As of yesterday, the Kenyan government had confirmed 28 cases of the dreaded coronavirus and one recovery. 

The government has urged Kenyans to not only remain at home but also observe social distancing. However, it has been silent on how this affects sex life.  

 

Jane* (not her real name) got married to her husband Harry* in 2015, and they currently have a two-year-old child. 

The couple has been together since 2010 and had not planned for their first child. 

"This one was an accident, I was on birth control and it failed. We were really shocked when we found out," Jane said. 

Harry says they had to learn about parenting and replan their finances before the child was born. 

"It was a little hard. We wanted kids after five years of marriage, so when she came along, we had to switch up everything for her," he said. 

The stay-at-home directive is both a blessing and a curse for the young family.

"We take this as a chance to rest and reset because the year has been pretty rough, but on the business side of things, it's hard," Jane said. 

 
 
I think more babies will be born during this period. There isn't really much to do and I think people may use sex to escape worrying or boredom
Jane

NEW ROUTINES

Harry is not used to staying at home all day and has been struggling to adjust. 

"Working from home is a little stressful. You have to develop a whole new routine and sometimes with a baby, it's not the easiest thing," he said. 

"But I appreciate how much more time I am getting to spend with my family."

The couple tries to split the time they have between themselves, work and their baby. 

"Since we don't know how long we will be inside, we try and give each other breaks from the monotony of staying at home and seeing the same faces. Me-time is important," Jane said. 

"There are also shifts for who will look after the baby while the other one works or rests, then we have the time we spend as a couple," she said. 

Harry admits the time he gets to spend alone with his wife has definitely increased. 

"I'm loving this time with her. Sometimes work and family gets in the way of your love life, but this is almost like a second chance to get to know each other again," he said. 

After he finishes his work and the child is asleep, they have the rest of the time to themselves. 

"Our sex life has definitely improved, but we are being careful because we do not want another child right now," she said.

Jane has gotten on contraception pills and sometimes they use protection during intercourse. 

"I think more babies will be born during this period. There isn't really much to do and I think people may use sex to escape worrying or boredom," she said. 

There's literally nothing else to do other than staying home, which gives more time for 'getting to know' your partner a little bit more
Dee

FORCED CELIBACY 

However, for others, the stay-at-home directive has had a negative effect on their sex lives. 

For Ella, 24, the coronavirus pandemic has made her relocate to her mother's house, placing a go-slow on her sex life. 

"I cannot have sex while at home. It's just something I do, I always play away," she said. "During this quarantine period, I'll just have to take care of myself as we wait to resume our normal lives."

For Wambui, the panic over Covid-19 seems to have killed her sex drive. 

"I'm worried because sex is the last thing on my mind. Like I can't believe I'm not getting horny. I wanna get horny. I want to have sex… masturbation is not even on my mind now," she said. 

However, for Dee and her boyfriend, the situation has not affected their sex lives.

The couple, who have been together for a year and currently live together, say they are having "the same amount of sex" as before. 

"I'm not having more or less sex, it's just the same. Although that may change as from what we've already seen, guys are moving back home to be with their families during this period more than they are staying with their partners," she said. 

Couple in bed
Couple in bed
Image: COURTESY

For Dee, the number of people getting pregnant will definitely be on the rise.

"There's literally nothing else to do other than staying home, which gives more time for 'getting to know' your partner a little bit more," she said. 

BOOSTING IMMUNITY

Recent data from PornHub shows the site's traffic has increased since lockdowns in various countries began. 

The site published its findings after tracking user engagement in different countries from the time global concern about coronavirus began. 

They found traffic across the site had grown, with daily use increasing by 11.6 per cent from February 24 to March 17. 

The rise in numbers could be attributed to boredom or the recent speculations online that masturbation can boost one's immune system. 

In this time of Covid-19, travel restrictions and self-quarantines, many people are looking for every opportunity to boost their immune systems.

The speculations are backed by a study carried out by the Department of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Essen, Germany, in 2004. 

The study looks at the effects of orgasm through masturbation on white blood cell count and the immune system. 

"Each participant’s white blood cell count was recorded five minutes before and 45 minutes after reaching solo orgasm, and the post-orgasm count was higher," read the study. 

According to the Telegraph, in general, a couple living together can have sex if they both feel healthy, are not in an at-risk group and have not come into contact with anyone with symptoms. 

Prof Claudia Estcourt, an expert from the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, says if a couple has been isolating for over two weeks, they can have sex. 

"But remember that every time someone goes out of their household, that person has the potential to acquire the virus. You will need to keep resetting the 14-day clock if one of you is in contact with someone with coronavirus or develops symptoms," he said. 

According to County Meter, there are 5,029 live births average per day (209.54 in an hour) in Kenya. 

With a potential lockdown looming should the Covid-19 pandemic worsen, it will be interesting to see if more children are born in the next nine months.

Edited by T Jalio