Family planning is the information, means and methods that allow individuals to decide if and when to have children(UNFPA,2019). This includes a wide range of contraceptives – including pills, implants, intrauterine devices, surgical procedures that limit fertility, and barrier methods such as condoms – as well as non-invasive methods such as the calendar method and abstinence. Family planning also includes information about how to become pregnant when it is desirable, as well as treatment of infertility(UNFPA,2019). Family planning services are defined as "educational, comprehensive medical or social activities which enable individuals, including minors, to determine freely the number and spacing of their children and to select the means by which this may be achieved (NCANDS,2000). Family planning is when both the husband and wife together discuss and mutually decide how many children they would like to have and when (birth control), so that they can give sufficient love, care, attention and good education to each of their children. It is achieved through the use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of infertility (inability to have children). Planning when and how many children to have is the couple's responsibility, not just the man's or woman’s. Family planning is just as important for newly married couples as it is for those who already have one or more children. It enables young people to delay their first child till they are prepared to take up the responsibilities of raising a child. Family planning may involve consideration of the number of children a woman wishes to have, including the choice to have no children, as well as the age at which she wishes to have them. These matters are influenced by external factors such as marital situation, career considerations, financial position, any disabilities that may affect their ability to have children and raise them, besides many other considerations. If sexually active, family planning may involve the use of contraception(WHO,2019) and other techniques to control the timing of reproduction. Other techniques commonly used include sexuality education (NCANDS,2000). Prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counseling[and management, and infertility management(WHO,2019) Family planning as defined by the United Nations and the World Health Organization encompasses services leading up to conception and does not promote abortion as a family planning method (UNFPA, 2019). Although levels of contraceptive use reduce the need for abortion (Bajos et al, 2014). Family planning is sometimes used as a synonym or euphemism for access to and the use of contraception. However, it often involves methods and practices in addition to contraception. Additionally, there are many who might wish to use contraception but are not, necessarily, planning a family (e.g., unmarried adolescents, young married couples delaying childbearing while building a career); family planning has become a catch-all phrase for much of the work undertaken in this realm. Contemporary notions of family planning, however, tend to place a woman and her childbearing decisions at the center of the discussion, as notions of women's empowerment and reproductive autonomy have gained traction in many parts of the world. It is most usually applied to a female-male couple who wish to limit the number of children they have and/or to control the timing. Family planning helps people to have the desired number of children, which as a result improves the health of mothers and contributes to the nation’s social and economic development. In most developing countries, it is common practice for women to have too many children, too close to one another.As a consequence, the population size of the country usually increases dramatically while economic growth is not kept in parallel with it. Such an unbalanced population size will inevitably have a negative impact on the wellbeing of the nation. Family planning is one of the strategies which is proving to be effective in tackling these problems. The role of health professionals in balancing population growth with socioeconomic development is immense and only possible by using family planning as a principle and different contraceptive methods as tools. As a Health Extension Practitioner, you can contribute to balanced population growth through mobilizing the community at large. Community mobilization for the purpose of improving family planning is possible with understanding and by encouraging ownership amongst the beneficiaries. To achieve this, both formal and informal education is important. In short, the three key areas of education, population size and development impact on one another and need to remain in balance.
1.1 Reasons for Family Planning/Birth Control
In 2006, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a recommendation, encouraging men and women to formulate a reproductive life plan, to help them in avoiding unintended pregnancies and to improve the health of women and reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes(CDC, 2006). Raising a child requires significant amounts of resources:
· Time (USDA, 2012),
· Financial(MsMoney.com, 2008) and
· Environmental (Wynes et al, 2017).
Planning can help assure that resources are available. The purpose of family planning is to make sure that any couple, man, or woman who has a child has the resources that are needed in order to complete his/her goal. With these resources a couple, man or woman can explore the options of natural birth, surrogacy, artificial insemination, or adoption. In the other case, if the person does not wish to have a child at the specific time, they can investigate the resources that are needed to prevent pregnancy, such as birth control, contraceptives, or physical protection and prevention. There is no clear social impact case for or against conceiving a child. Individually, for most people, bearing a child or not has no measurable impact on person well-being. A review of the economic literature on life satisfaction shows that certain groups of people are much happier without children they usually include:
· Single parents
· Fathers who both work and raise the children equally.
· The divorced
· The poor
· Those whose children are older than 3
· Those whose children are sick.
However, both adoptees and the adopters report that they are happier after adoption. Adoption may also insure against costs of prenatal or childhood disability which can be anticipated with prenatal screening or with reference to parental risk factors. For instance, older fathers(Nybo, et al, 2017) and/or Advanced maternal age increase the risk of numerous health issues in their offspring, including autism and schizophrenia (Sanchez, 2018).
When women can pursue additional education and paid employment, families can invest more in each child. Children with fewer siblings tend to stay in school longer than those with many siblings. Leaving school in order to have children has long-term implications for the future of these girls, as well as the human capital of their families and communities. Family planning slows unsustainable population growth which drains resources from the environment, and national and regional development efforts (Wynes et al, 2017) and (WHO, 2018).
Anaele, C (2019). Family Planning and birth Control. Afribary.com: Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://afribary.com/works/family-planning-and-birth-control
Charles, Anaele. "Family Planning and birth Control" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 04 May. 2019, https://afribary.com/works/family-planning-and-birth-control . Accessed 15 Jul. 2019.
Charles, Anaele. "Family Planning and birth Control". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 04 May. 2019. Web. 15 Jul. 2019. < https://afribary.com/works/family-planning-and-birth-control >.
Charles, Anaele. "Family Planning and birth Control" Afribary.com (2019). Accessed July 15, 2019. https://afribary.com/works/family-planning-and-birth-control