Prioritize Family Planning – How And Why Explained In Detail

Family planning is defined as educational, comprehensive medical, or social activities that enable individuals to determine freely the number of children they wish to have. This definition is known to everyone, but why is family planning important? Because…

  1. It prevents pregnancy-related health risks in women

  2. It reduces infant mortality/death rate

  3. Helps prevent HIV/AIDS

  4. Empowers people and enhances education

  5. Reduces adolescent pregnancies

  6. Slows down population growth

Family Planning is essential to secure the well-being of women as well as the child while supporting the health and development of communities. It can be achieved by ensuring women and couples have access to contraceptive methods and infertility treatments.

Here are various methods of family planning that help prevent unwanted pregnancy.

1. Behavioral methods

  1. Abstinence: Couples avoid or abstain from coitus from day 10 to 17 of the menstrual cycle when ovulation could be expected.

  2. Withdrawal/Coitus interruptus: The goal of the withdrawal method is to prevent sperm from entering the vagina and is performed by intentional ejaculation outside the woman’s external genitals

2. Natural methods

In this method, couples calculate a women’s fertile window by assessing certain characteristics

  1. Basal body temperature: Identifying the basal body temperature which shows a rise of 0.3-0.5 ºC at the time of ovulation due to increased production of progesterone

  2. Cervical mucus: Right before ovulation, the mucus from the cervix changes from being cloudy and scanty to being clear and slippery

3. Chemical methods

Chemical barriers or spermicides are sperm-killing substances, available as foams, creams, gels, films, or suppositories, which are often used in female contraception in conjunction with mechanical barriers and other devices.

4. Mechanical methods

Mechanical barriers are devices that provide a physical barrier between the sperm and the egg. Examples of the mechanical obstacles include the male condom, female condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, and sponge

5. Hormonal contraceptives

A most effective method of contraception

  1. Oral pills

  2. Depot formulations

6. Terminal methods

The surgical method of sterilization provides a permanent safeguard against unwanted pregnancies

  1. Vasectomy: In males, a small part of vasdeferens is removed or tied up to prevent sperm from entering into the urethra and thereby preventing fertilization

  2. Tubectomy or tubal ligation: In females, a small part of the fallopian tube is removed or tied up through a small incision in the abdomen or through the vagina

  3. Laparoscopy: This is a technique of female sterilization through an abdominal approach with a specialized instrument called “laparoscope.”

Elements of family planning

  1. A gap of least 24 months between two births should be maintained to promote health benefits for the mother and baby

  2. Limiting the number of children in a family means more resources and time for each child

  3. Younger women (adolescents) can delay pregnancy until their bodies mature

  4. Older women (over 35) can prevent unwanted pregnancies that may be risky for their health and can lead to complications


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