Family Planning

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Family Planning in Pimple Saudagar - Dr. Rashmi Dharaskar

Family planning allows people to attain their desired number of children and determine the spacing of pregnancies. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of infertility (this fact sheet focuses on contraception).

Family planning, simply put, is the practice of controlling the number of children in a family and the intervals between their births, particularly by means of artificial contraception or voluntary sterilization. Because “family” is included in the concept’s name, consideration of a couple’s desire to bear children, in the context of a family unit, is often considered primarily.

Family planning

Family planning allows people to attain their desired number of children and determine the spacing of pregnancies. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of infertility (this fact sheet focuses on contraception).
Benefits of family planning / contraception
Promotion of family planning – and ensuring access to preferred contraceptive methods for women and couples – is essential to securing the well-being and autonomy of women, while supporting the health and development of communities.
Preventing pregnancy-related health risks in women
A woman’s ability to choose if and when to become pregnant has a direct impact on her health and well-being. Family planning allows spacing of pregnancies and can delay pregnancies in young women at increased risk of health problems and death from early childbearing. It prevents unintended pregnancies, including those of older women who face increased risks related to pregnancy. Family planning enables women who wish to limit the size of their families to do so. Evidence suggests that women who have more than 4 children are at increased risk of maternal mortality.

Helping to prevent HIV/AIDS

Family planning reduces the risk of unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV, resulting in fewer infected babies and orphans. In addition, male and female condoms provide dual protection against unintended pregnancies and against STIs including HIV.

Empowering people and enhancing education

Family planning enables people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. Family planning represents an opportunity for women to pursue additional education and participate in public life, including paid employment in non-family organizations. Additionally, having smaller families allows parents to invest more in each child. Children with fewer siblings tend to stay in school longer than those with many siblings.

Reducing adolescent pregnancies

Pregnant adolescents are more likely to have preterm or low birth-weight babies. Babies born to adolescents have higher rates of neonatal mortality. Many adolescent girls who become pregnant have to leave school. This has long-term implications for them as individuals, their families and communities.

Slowing population growth

Family planning is key to slowing unsustainable population growth and the resulting negative impacts on the economy, environment, and national and regional development efforts.

Who provides family planning / contraceptives?

It is important that family planning is widely available and easily accessible through midwives and other trained health workers to anyone who is sexually active, including adolescents. Midwives are trained to provide (where authorised) locally available and culturally acceptable contraceptive methods. Other trained health workers, for example community health workers, also provide counselling and some family planning methods, for example pills and condoms. For methods such as sterilization, women and men need to be referred to a clinician.

Contraceptive use

Contraceptive use has increased in many parts of the world, especially in Asia and Latin America, but continues to be low in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, use of modern contraception has risen slightly, from 54% in 1990 to 57.4% in 2015. Regionally, the proportion of women aged 15–49 reporting use of a modern contraceptive method has risen minimally or plateaued between 2008 and 2015. In Africa it went from 23.6% to 28.5%, in Asia it has risen slightly from 60.9% to 61.8%, and in Latin America and the Caribbean it has remained stable at 66.7%.

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