Family planning is the ability of couples to determine the number of children they have through timing and spacing .
It is important as it helps couples attain their desired family size and this, subsequently results in significant overall improvements in health and in social and economic well-being.
Family planning methods containing synthetic hormones (It can be a combination of estrogen and progestin, or progestin alone), which will primarily work through prevention of ovulation or by making the cervical mucus too thick for sperm penetration.
They are the most commonly used, and are very effective in terms of preventing unwanted pregnancies, but vary in terms of side effects associated with their use.
The following hormonal methods are commonly available in Kenya;
Combined oral contraceptives are pills that contain synthetic oestrogen and progesterone (progestins), which are similar to the natural hormones produced in a womans body.
Combined Oral Contraceptives are one of the most common family planning methods used in Kenya today. Let us take a brief look at them and how they function.
In the past years, there used to be a lot of side effects due to the ise of Combined Oral Contraceptives. This was due to the level of estrogen hormone in the family planning method. These side effects have seen a major drop due to the decrease of these levels in the pills. High-dose COCs are now defined as those containing 50 micrograms or more of oestrogen, and low dose pills contain 30-35 micrograms of oestrogen. The ultra low dose
COCs contain 20 micrograms ethinyl oestradiol. Now in Kenya, you will find that the Low-dose pills are more common and are used more widely compared to the others.
Types of COCs.
Monophasic: Monophasic pills are active pills that contain equal amount of the hormone estrogen and progestin. Examples examples of the pills include Yasmin and Nordette.
Biphasic: Just lkke Monophasic pills, they are active contraceptive pills containing both estrogen and progestin. The only differenceis is that they are not of the same dose. One example is Ovanon.
Triphasic. This is an active pill. This family planning contains a combination of oestrogen and progestin making 3 differentdoses. Out of a cycle of 21 active pills, six might contain one combination, five pills contain another combination, while 10 pills contain other combinations of the same two hormones. Examples include Logynon and Trinordial.
Women can now better take advantage and continue growing their careers because the are able to space the number of children they want to have, while controlling when they want to conceive.
The use of condoms has really made a huge difference in the number of cases of Sexually Transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS in Kenya, and globally.
Women can now avoid having children when the are very young, or when they are very old. This was a challenge because these ages not only cause a risk to the mother, but also to the unborn child.
The overall number of cases of abortion, especially unsafe abortion, has reduced. This is because women have the opportunity to time and space their pregnancies, therefore avoiding unwanted pregnancies.
The most challenging social and economic challenge in developing countries is having a high population growth. This can change because parents are better able to decide on the size of family they want to have.
A decrease in the rate of population growth of a country will in turn lead to a decreased rate of nature destruction in the name of looking for new places to occupy due to congestion.