Family planning services are the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary infertility. 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, many 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. Family planning may involve consideration of the number of children a woman wishes to have, including the choice to have no children and the age at which she wishes to have them. These matters are influenced by external factors such as marital situation, career considerations, financial position, and any disabilities that may affect their ability to have children and raise them. Family planning has been shown to reduce teenage birth rates and birth rates for unmarried women.
Reasons for family planning
- 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 this goal. This is because Raising a child requires significant amounts of resources: time, social, financial, and environmental. Planning can help assure that resources are available.
- The general health of a woman is to be considered. This is why women should be aware that reproductive risks increase with the age of the woman.
- Family planning slows unsustainable population growth which drains resources from the environment, and national and regional development efforts.
- 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.
Providers of family planning services
Direct Government Support
Direct government support for family planning includes providing family planning education and supplies through government-run facilities such as hospitals, clinics, health posts and health centers and through government fieldworkers
The private sector includes nongovernmental and faith-based organizations that typically provide free or subsidized services to for-profit medical providers, pharmacies and drug shops.
Non Governmental Organization
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may meet the needs of local poor by encouraging self-help and participation, understanding social and cultural subtleties, and working around red tape when governments do not adequately meet the needs of their constituents.
Barriers to family planning
There are many reasons as to why women do not use contraceptives. These reasons include:-
- Logistical problems
- Scientific and religious concerns
- Limited access to transportation in order to access health clinics
- Lack of education and knowledge
- Opposition by partners
- Families or communities plus the fact that no one is able to control conception.