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Overview of Family Planning

Family planning if often confused with choosing the right methods of birth control, but it usually offers a wide range of services. The clients are heterosexual couples who either wish to limit or space their pregnancies or are trying to conceive. Some family planning centers offer abortion and sterilization services as well. It has become fairly common to look for surrogate mothers through family planning centers, whether for couples or individuals who wish to have children. Many family planning agencies also have sperm banks where women go to be inseminated via different procedures such as IUI or IVF. Trained counselors also offer advice as far as financial planning goes when a couple is trying to conceive. It is estimated that an average American family spends anywhere between $10, 000 to $25, 000 annually for the first 18 years of each of their children’s lives. The outcome of planning to have a family depends heavily on the financial means. Almost 50 percent of pregnancies in the US every year are unplanned, especially among young women of lower socioeconomic status. The financial burden is often too much to bear for both the pregnant individual and her family members so it is very important to be properly educated on sexual and reproductive health of young women and to try and avoid unwanted pregnancies. Through family planning centers women are able to obtain financial support offered by the government for those in need. Most centers will advise the young woman to use birth control pills in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

What Is the Truth about Family Planning?

Family planning is planning on when to start having children, when to use birth control and which particular methods to go for, and other techniques needed to implement those plans. Up until a couple of decades ago, family planning constituted carefully monitoring the menstrual cycle and trying to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse during ovulation. Scientists and clinicians have proven that family planning is slightly more complicated nowadays and requires additional elements which increase the likelihood of getting pregnant. For instance, the woman’s body temperature plays a significant part in her fertility, and so do the changes in the substance surrounding the cervix. Also, many individuals believe that family planning can only help women with regular periods, but numerous research and clinical trials have shown that individuals with irregular menstrual cycles benefit from family planning just as much. The methods and techniques of family planning teach each woman to read the signs her body is sending to tell her when she is most likely to get pregnant. Instructions on how to monitor and interpret the bodily changes are available from family planning center and local hospitals. Fertility counselors are available to interpret additional signs of fertility. Further, some people believe that the methods of family planning are relatively complicated for an average person to follow, but experts from family planning centers claim that anyone who is guided by an educated counselor can follow the proposed methods and get pregnant or avoid unwanted pregnancies. There is evidence of successful use of family planning techniques in the developing countries where the number of children per woman was reduces by the introduction of appropriate birth control methods and educating them about sexual and reproductive health. Data collected from family planning centers show that when individuals closely follow advice provided by trained professionals, family planning is successful in 99 percent of the cases in which the problem is limiting or spacing births. It should be noted that family planning does not propose abstinence as a method for avoiding or spacing pregnancies, and couples who follow the rules are just as sexually active as those who are not engaged in any type of family planning. In addition, family planning methods differ significantly from artificial methods of birth control. For instance, family planning is used for both getting pregnant and avoiding unwanted pregnancies. Husband and wife need to work together and communicate openly in order to achieve desired results. Family planning methods produce no adverse effects on health and cost little to nothing.

Family Planning in United States

Family planning centers are publically or privately funded agencies where women are able to obtain information about reproductive and contraceptive methods. Family planning centers are funded by various types of health departments, community centers, Planned Parenting associations, hospitals, and so on. Publically funded family planning clinics offer a variety of services including methods of birth control, Pap tests, pelvic exams, fertility tests and treatment, and so on. Family planning centers are often the only source of sexual and reproductive health care for women living in rural areas. Further, it is estimated that 1 in every 6 American women uses the services of publically funded family planning agencies. Such centers are particularly helpful for women who are of lower socioeconomic status and are at a high risk of unwanted pregnancy. Clinical data also reveal that 75 percent of women who use the services are younger than 30, while 75 percent are not married. Centers that are funded privately often offer fewer services as they receive limited funding either from fees, insurance claims, or donations.

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