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Family Planning - Why is it essential?

Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team Posted on 2022-05-09 Family Planning - Why is it essential?

Independent India had only 345 million Indians and ours is the first developing country to implement birth control measures. While the world took 454 years to go from 345 million people in 14 century to a billion, India took just 52 years!

Long gone are those days when having a family of say 10 kids was seen as a sign of strength, potential wealth, security in the society or say more labour in farms for peasants. Being the land, of villages, families of our rural areas are still plagued with the notion that having many children helps to gain wealth and prosperity as these children will grow to become the future bread winners of the family. However, it doesn't go as expected! Depending on the family's financial status, initial lack of basic necessities, education, nutrition, etc. for so many children ultimately leads to poverty, with no considerable change in the family's financial status.

In ancient times, lands were vastly affected with conflicts, wars, epidemics like plague, etc. posing a danger of complete extinction of one's community or race. To protect their own kith and kin from getting completely wiped out, having multiple children became an easiest way for families back then to either fight wars or conserve their ethnicity even if a few kids expired during conflicts or epidemic outbreaks, and continue their progeny further.

We, humans are blessed with the ability to procreate, to make one of our kind, and exploiting this ability is not seen a problem even in the current male dominated society. A symbol of solidarity, as good as the whole picture of family future sounded back then, congenital anomalies, premature births, etc. are some of the consequences which result when birth control is either not known or practiced among the populace.

Childbearing process in humans is more difficult compared to other animals, putting a woman through an excruciating pain, equal to that of fracturing 20 bones, every time she delivers a baby. Multiple births without giving a proper gap between children deprives both the mother and the babies of essential nutrients, and mostly results in low birth weight or episodes of uterine rupture or placental abruption in the mother.

Family planning, widely understood as just birth control, is more than just contraception. It basically helps individuals or couples to anticipate and have desired number of children along with choosing the timing and planning spacing of their births. Health of mother and child, nutrition and family welfare are also taken into consideration with the help of:

Contraceptive options

  • Hormonal contraception - Pills, injection, vaginal rings
  • Barrier method - Condoms and diaphragms
  • Emergency contraception-Pill, copper intrauterine devices (CopperIUD)
  • Long-acting reversible contraception - Implants, intrauterine devices
  • Permanent contraception - Vasectomy (male sterilisation) and tuballigation (female sterilisation)

Fertility awareness
Understanding a female's menstrual cycle and signs of fertility during the menstrual cycle

Treatment of involuntary infertility
Counseling, hormonal therapy, medical treatments, invitro fertilisation, donor insemination

Keeping in mind the health and well-being of the mother and the child, it aids in deciding when to try/plan or avoid a pregnancy. Keeping a gap of less than 2 years or more than 5 years in having kids may cause serious health consequences for both the mother and the baby.

  • It has a crucial long-term impact on a family's economic status as the financial consequences of having children not only include the medical costs of Pregnancy and delivery, but costs of bringing up children by providing food, shelter, clothing, education, etc.
  • Gives women an option to decide when to get pregnant prioritising their education, career and financial goals.
  • Aids in generating awareness regarding sexually transmitted infections like HIV-AIDS, etc., infant and maternal mortality.
  • Spreads information on sex education and literates people on how to access various safe birth control options available.
  • Curbs unplanned pregnancies and resulting abortions and also prevents other birth complications resulting due to untimely, multiple births.
  • Ensures each child gets the necessary attention, nutrition, love and care he/she deserves for an all-round development.
  • Recommends 2-child family norm to be practiced and also increases the female literacy rate, thus making women and mothers-to-be more aware of their natural bodily processes of menstruation and pregnancy along with its nutritional requirements

Currently a hub of more than a billion population i.e. 17.5% people of the world, 2nd most highly populated country in the world after China, India is estimated to become world's most populous country by 2022. Well, conquering the world over this will certainly not be a great feat! Wars and violence are almost extinct and with the advent of modern medical technologies, fewer deaths result due to diseases, thus abolishing the fear of extinction of one's race. Population explosion fuels feud over resources, be it land, water, food, or any man-made reserves. More the number of people, along with tremendous decline in available resources, necessitates family planning to be made available at a larger scale.


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  • Disclaimer: HealthcareOnTime offers extensively researched information, including laboratory testing for health screening. However, we must emphasize that this content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always prioritize consulting your healthcare provider for accurate medical guidance and personalized treatment. Remember, your health is of paramount importance, and only a qualified medical professional can make precise determinations regarding your well-being.
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