Ever ask yourself how many kids you want to have? Everyone has the right to decide how many children they’d like to raise. The challenging part is sticking to the path you and your partner have set out on.
That’s where family planning comes in.
What is family planning?
The term “family planning” refers to the information, means, and methods that allow individuals to decide if and when to have children.
But this isn’t just for married couples alone. Each member — even your children — can be positively affected by properly planning out your family.
Why do we need it?
Parents who practice proper family planning can ensure that they can give enough attention and support to the children they already have. It also gives spouses enough time for each other.
Family planning also helps people financially. Food, clothing, medical treatment, education, and shelter require money, so you have to ensure you can properly provide for the family you have, or are planning to have.
Thankfully, family planning is pretty simple, and there are a variety of ways we can practice it.
What options are there for men?
For many couples, especially men, the most common and affordable family planning method is using condoms. They’re among the cheapest contraceptives around, and can be easily bought from pharmacies and convenience stores.
For men, getting a vasectomy is also an option. A non-scalpel vasectomy is a relatively painless outpatient procedure, and it doesn’t have any harmful side effects. The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) conducts free vasectomies in different parts of the country every November, but you could also schedule an appointment with them through their website.
As of now, birth control pills for men are still in development, so condoms and vasectomies still remain the most reliable contraceptive options for men.
What options are there for women?
Currently, there are more contraceptive options available for women. Among the most common are oral contraceptive pills which primarily work by stopping egg cells from being released during ovulation, thus preventing sperm cells from meeting any egg cells after sex. (Check out our article about pills to find out how to properly take them.)
Women can also use an intrauterine device (or IUD) for contraception. They are T-shaped devices inserted in the uterus. They prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg by changing the way sperm cells move. In the Philippines, copper IUDs are the only type available.
There are also injectables that can prevent pregnancy by releasing a hormone called “progestin”, which thickens cervical mucus and thus, preventing sperm from meeting the egg cell. These need to be prescribed by a healthcare expert and can be acquired from health centers and hospitals.
Whatever contraceptive method you choose, remember to first have a serious conversation with your partner about it. It would also be good to consult a health expert to understand which method would work best for you.
They say that fathers are the pillars of the household while mothers are the light of the home. As spouses and parents, men and women need to be responsible enough to ensure that every child they create will live a good life. Proper family planning can help with these endeavors.
So the next time you start thinking of how many children you’d like to have, remember: it’s not just simply a sudden thought: it’s an essential part of having a family.
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