FAMILY PLANNING.

contraceptive canva

Family planning is one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century. The availability of family planning services allows individuals to achieve desired birth spacing and family size, and contribute to improved health outcomes for infants, children, women, and families. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only 100% effective way to avoid unintended pregnancy. For individuals who are sexually active, correct and consistent use is highly effective at preventing unintended pregnancy. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of women desiring to use family planning has increased over the past two decades from 900 million in 2000 and nearly 1.1 billion in 2020, an additional 70 million women are projected to be added by 2030.

Unintended pregnancies include pregnancies that are reported by women as being mistimed or unwanted. Birth resulting from unintended pregnancies can have negative consequences including birth defects and low birth weight. They are more likely to experience poor mental and physical health during childhood and have lower educational attainment and more behavioral issues in their teen years. The negative consequences associated with untimed pregnancies are greater for teen parents and their children. According to global Childhood, Kenya has the third-highest teen pregnancy rate with 82 births per 1000 birth. Similarly, children of teens parents are more likely to have lower cognitive attainment and exhibit more behavior problems.

However, WHO feels that there is a slow increase in women using contraceptives due to limited access to service, limited choices of methods, poorer and unmarried people, fear or experience of side –effects, cultural or religious opposition, poor quality of available service, particularly among young, and gender-based barrier to accessing services. As these barriers are addressed in some regions there have been increases in demand satisfied with modern methods of contraception.

Methods of contraceptives that WHO recognizes include oral contraceptive pills, implants, injectables, patches, vaginal rings, intrauterine devices, male and female condoms, male and female sterilization, lactation amenorrhea methods, withdrawal, and fertility awareness-based methods. These methods have different mechanisms of action and effectiveness in preventing unintended pregnancy.

  • Hormonal contraceptive includes patches, vaginal rings, and pills, they work by releasing hormones into the bloodstream which prevents the release of an egg each month.
  • Contraceptive implants are inserted under the skin of a woman’s upper arm and provide continuous, highly effective pregnancy protection for 3 to 5 years, depending on the type of implant.
  • Injectable contraceptive is given by injection into a woman’s arm once every 1, 2, 3 months, depending on the type of injectable. It is more effective when a woman goes back for re-injection on time.
  • An intrauterine contraceptive device is a small, flexible plastic device that is inserted into the woman’s uterus. The most common contain copper, and they work by preventing sperm from reaching an egg. It can protect for 5 to 12 years.
  • Barrier methods are either devices (male and female condoms) that physically block sperm from reaching an egg or chemicals (spermicides) that kill or damage the sperm in the vagina. The effectiveness of this method highly depends on people’s ability to use them correctly every time they have sex.
  • Withdrawal and fertility awareness methods.
  • Breastfeeding provides contraceptive protection for the first 6 months after delivery if certain conditions are met. This is also called the lactation Amenorrhea method.
  • Female and male sterilization is a permanent method of contraception. It involves a relatively simple surgical procedure that provides life-long protection against pregnancy. It is appropriate for men and women who are certain they do not want more children.
  • The birth control patch contains hormones estrogen and progestin. It prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your bloodstream that keep your ovaries from releasing an egg.

The best method of birth control is the safe one and one that you are comfortable using consistently and correctly. Knowing your options is part of the decision process but an honest assessment of yourself and your relationships is just as important when deciding which type of birth control is right for you. Before starting any family method, it is good to seek medical guidance.

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