Family planning is the method that gives couples and individuals the ability to plan childbirth, and space and time pregnancies. The primary purpose of family planning is to eliminate unwanted pregnancies and arrive at the optimum number of children for any family through contraception and treatment of involuntary infertility. Apart from this, it also helps to abate the transmission of sexually transmitted infections and diseases, including HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). The importance of family planning in society is also evident from the fact that it reduces the infertility rates, thereby contributing to the overall social and preventive health of individuals and the wider community. Annually, around nine million women in the United States benefit from family planning practices protecting their health. Family planning also helps save about $10 billion of taxpayers’ money.
Prevents unplanned pregnancies
The primary purpose of family planning is to ensure adequate maternal and child health. One-third of the maternal deaths can be reduced through the adoption of family planning methods, which also lower the rate of deaths of children under the age of 5. Furthermore, family planning helps in reducing the economic and cognitive burden to the individuals and families.
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Reduces pregnancy-related health risks
In the changing landscape of women’s lifestyle, pregnancy-related health risks are becoming more common. Unplanned teen pregnancies lead to unsafe abortion practices. Maternal depression is another major issue that continues for a long-term if it is not identified and addressed. Mistimed pregnancies happen at a time when women are not ready physically and mentally. The importance of family planning can be realized by the fact that planned pregnancies have a better outcome in the overall health of the mother and child.
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Lowers the incidence of STI (including HIV/AIDS) and addresses infertility
Sexually Transmitted Infections are instrumental in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) that causes infertility. Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea infect the upper genital tract causing irreversible damage to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and other supporting structures. Most of these infections are silent- they take a long time before they are actually diagnosed.
HIV/AIDS can go undiagnosed even in standard medical tests if these tests are done during the window period (which is the period between the time of infection and the time when the infection is detectable). So using family planning methods provides a definite solution to address the issue of STI and subsequent infertility.
Increases responsible sexual behavior
Family planning increases the responsibility of the individuals in planning their sexual behavior, childbirth, and pregnancies, thereby contributing positively to their holistic sexual and reproductive health. The choice of using contraceptive methods helps individuals/couples reach the optimum family size and reduce unwanted pregnancies.
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Family planning aids mothers to pursue careers, continuing education, and participate in social life. Avoiding teenage pregnancies helps reduce school drop-outs, increases the college graduation rate, and helps them attain a decent socio-economic status.
So if you’ve ever wondered “Why is family planning important?”, hopefully, you’ve now got all the answers you need!