FAMILY PLANNING

May 31, 2017,

Family planning in simple terms is the act of determining the outlook of families in terms of number of children and spacing by preventing unwanted pregnancies. It is also known as contraception. This is achieved by various methods which are cost effective and efficacious.

One of the ways by which the developed nations reached their stature is through family planning, thus it has not only individual, family or community importance, but also national ramifications.

Quite a sizeable percentage of Nigeria’s underdevelopment, with the subsequent indices of measurement can be traced to lack of uptake of family planning methods.

The main objectives of family planning (according to Lucas, and Gilles) are as follows;

  • Preventing unwanted pregnancies
  • Securing desired pregnancies
  • Spacing of pregnancies
  • Limiting the size of the family

It is named thus because it is expected to be the decision of the family – the husband and wife (man and woman), where applicable. The decision shouldn’t be left to only a party (the woman) as it impacts on the society and nation at large; thus the need for support of the men. Single women can also make contraceptive choices on their own before marriage and there are situations when the parents make the choice for their daughter.

It must be noted that the cost of uptake of family planning on an individual, family, society and nation at large is low compared to an unwanted pregnancy and its effects.

An unwanted pregnancy is a direct consequence of non-usage of family planning services but it brings about other adverse events such as:

  • Criminal and unsafe abortion (as voluntary abortion at the moment is illegal in the country)
  • Maternal mortality (death)
  • Too large families and overpopulation
  • Overpopulation leads to overwhelming use of social amenities
  • Overpopulation leads to overcrowding and the diseases associated e.g. tuberculosis, skin diseases
  • Overpopulation leads to increase in vices and crimes
  • Poor quality of life from the above
  •  The list is endless

Methods of family planning include the following;

  1. Barriers – it includes male condoms, female condoms, and cervical caps.
  2. Intrauterine devices (IUD) –  are those devices that are placed in the womb; a common example is copper-T
  3. Pills – are tablets can are taking by mouth. It includes combined oral contraceptive pills (COCP – has both estrogens and progestogens), minipills (progestogen only), morning after pills.
  4. Injectables – these are injected either monthly, every two months or every three months. They are the DEPO preparations
  5. Implants – are inserted into the fatty tissue of the inner upper arm. It can last 3 – 5years.
  6. Permanent methods – these are irreversible and done in cases when couples have completed their families. They are done via operations (surgery). It includes vasectomy (in men) and tubal ligation (in women).

Some of the above methods may have adverse effects in different individuals in the population; all effects are not found in everyone. But irrespective of the effects, they are safe to be used.

Examples of those effects include weight gain, excessive bleeding, painful menses, infections, skin reactions, and occasionally failure of the contraception and ectopic pregnancy.

It is therefore imperative to visit a family planning clinic to choose a method based on convenience and sometimes less side effects. You will be properly educated and counselled at the clinic.

                In conclusion, good uptake of family planning services by each and every one of us at a point in our lives will prevent unwanted pregnancies, maternal death and help improve our quality of life as individuals and as a nation

 FAMILY PLANNING

 

Family planning in simple terms is the act of determining the outlook of families in terms of number of children and spacing by preventing unwanted pregnancies. It is also known as contraception. This is achieved by various methods which are cost effective and efficacious.

One of the ways by which the developed nations reached their stature is through family planning, thus it has not only individual, family or community importance, but also national ramifications.

Quite a sizeable percentage of Nigeria’s underdevelopment, with the subsequent indices of measurement can be traced to lack of uptake of family planning methods.

The main objectives of family planning (according to Lucas, and Gilles) are as follows;

  • Preventing unwanted pregnancies
  • Securing desired pregnancies
  • Spacing of pregnancies
  • Limiting the size of the family

It is named thus because it is expected to be the decision of the family – the husband and wife (man and woman), where applicable. The decision shouldn’t be left to only a party (the woman) as it impacts on the society and nation at large; thus the need for support of the men. Single women can also make contraceptive choices on their own before marriage and there are situations when the parents make the choice for their daughter.

It must be noted that the cost of uptake of family planning on an individual, family, society and nation at large is low compared to an unwanted pregnancy and its effects.

An unwanted pregnancy is a direct consequence of non-usage of family planning services but it brings about other adverse events such as:

  • Criminal and unsafe abortion (as voluntary abortion at the moment is illegal in the country)
  • Maternal mortality (death)
  • Too large families and overpopulation
  • Overpopulation leads to overwhelming use of social amenities
  • Overpopulation leads to overcrowding and the diseases associated e.g. tuberculosis, skin diseases
  • Overpopulation leads to increase in vices and crimes
  • Poor quality of life from the above
  •  The list is endless

Methods of family planning include the following;

  1. Barriers – it includes male condoms, female condoms, and cervical caps.
  2. Intrauterine devices (IUD) –  are those devices that are placed in the womb; a common example is copper-T
  3. Pills – are tablets can are taking by mouth. It includes combined oral contraceptive pills (COCP – has both estrogens and progestogens), minipills (progestogen only), morning after pills.
  4. Injectables – these are injected either monthly, every two months or every three months. They are the DEPO preparations
  5. Implants – are inserted into the fatty tissue of the inner upper arm. It can last 3 – 5years.
  6. Permanent methods – these are irreversible and done in cases when couples have completed their families. They are done via operations (surgery). It includes vasectomy (in men) and tubal ligation (in women).

Some of the above methods may have adverse effects in different individuals in the population; all effects are not found in everyone. But irrespective of the effects, they are safe to be used.

Examples of those effects include weight gain, excessive bleeding, painful menses, infections, skin reactions, and occasionally failure of the contraception and ectopic pregnancy.

It is therefore imperative to visit a family planning clinic to choose a method based on convenience and sometimes less side effects. You will be properly educated and counselled at the clinic.

                In conclusion, good uptake of family planning services by each and every one of us at a point in our lives will prevent unwanted pregnancies, maternal death and help improve our quality of life as individuals and as a nation

References

Short textbook of public health medicine for the tropics;  Adetokunbo O. Lucas and Herbert M. Gilles; Revised 4th edition. 

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