Family Planning

Also known as: natural family planning, birth control, contraception

What is family planning?

The term family planning refers to an overall medical and culturally sensitive strategy intended to control the timing and number of pregnancies and children in a family.

Family planning can be accomplished through a variety of means, including:

  • Education

  • Contraception

  • Abstinence

What causes family planning?

Family planning is generally considered a good approach for any family that is considering having children. Making use of family planning services can help a family time their pregnancies and childbirths to optimize social, financial and environmental resources in order to allow a child's optimum upbringing.

What are the repercussions of family planning?

When used properly, family planning can have a positive impact on the well being of a prospective mother (early and late motherhood have increased risks) and financial health of a family.

While sexual abstinence counseling is important and is desirable for teens, research information suggests that many teens (and younger children) frequently engage in sexual activities. Parental and child education (and the availability and usage of  contraceptives) can avoid an unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) including HIV/AIDS.

What are family planning care options?

Family planning involves not only the use of birth control pills and other methods of contraception, but also education and regular reproductive health examinations for men and women.

Low-cost or no-cost centers are also available for families of limited financial means.

Primary care physicians, OB/GYNs, nurses and other health care practitioners can all play a role in family planning.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: September 09, 2019 03:54 PM