As a result of the increase in population, there has become an increasing interest in birth control as a solution to this problem, but several problems have emerged because birth control does not include methods of contraception only, but also includes access to them, safe and legal abortion and safe childbirth, and thus the individual faced problems regarding his independence in making decisions and accessing them. To the different services and methods of birth control, the most prominent ethical dilemmas were about abortion, while the least of which was about contraception; It was agreed that there were no moral problems with it. Rather, their use helped couples and individuals realize their fundamental right to decide freely and responsibly if they should have children, when they should be born and how many children they can have.The increased use of contraceptive methods has improved health-related outcomes such as reduced maternal and infant mortality, and has also positively affected the level of education and economy in societies that tend to assist partners in birth control.
Benefits of birth control (Family Planning)
- Family planning helps families spend less money and create more savings over time
- Makes education for children more possible, as better-educated children can look after their parents later in their lives.
- It reduces the diseases of the mother and the child, allowing the funds that would have been used in their treatment to be used for constructive purposes.
- Women are less likely to die from pregnancy and childbirth complications and less likely to have miscarriage and premature birth.
- They have greater opportunities to obtain quality education and advance their careers
- Having more time to care for the baby and to prepare physically, emotionally and financially for her next pregnancy
- She has more time for herself and her family and can participate in various educational, economic and social activities
- Increasing the likelihood of children being born in good health and the possibility of prolonging their breastfeeding period, which will positively affect their general health, in addition to receiving more attention and care from their parents.
Reasons for not resorting to birth control
The dilemma lies in how to approach social norms that directly affect family planning. The most important social aspects that affect family planning are summarized as follows:
- Decision-making about pregnancy
In many relationships, men dominate decision-making about family planning and contraception. Family and community members may also play important roles. And those who make decisions may not discuss it with the people involved. The main reasons for not using contraception include:
- Partner opposes
- Male dominance in decision-making
- Misinformation on the subject of birth control
In many relationships, the decision-making process may not include girls and women themselves, and the families of the two partners and other members of society may play a role in decision-making at times, in addition to that girls may make decisions without discussing the topic for various reasons such as lack of experience or feeling uncomfortable speaking. On sensitive issues, however, the main reason for not using contraception is opposition from the male partner. Even studies in some countries have confirmed that using contraceptives secretly or against the wishes of the husband can lead to domestic violence against women or separation from them.
There is mixed evidence about the relationship between early marriage, family planning and contraceptive use. Some researchers find that the prevalence of early marriage is closely related to a decrease in contraceptive use, increased rates of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. In many countries, societal and family aspirations are that women should become pregnant and give birth soon after marriage, and in these cases, traditional and religious norms, financial pressures, and low gender equality are often a direct factor in early marriage.
Sometimes the traditional view of not using modern contraception is deeply entrenched and can take a long time to change. Negative stereotypes and social stigma around contraception and sexuality limit contraceptive use, especially among young men and women. It is therefore imperative to intervene early as adolescents shape their identities and personalities and to develop their understanding of social norms about gender.
How can the community be helped with family planning and birth control?
Of the 1.9 billion women of childbearing age in the world, 1.1 billion women need family planning; They are women who are current contraceptive users or who have an unmet need for family planning. Of these 1.1 billion women, 842 million use modern methods of contraception while 80 million use traditional methods (5). In addition to the desire of many individuals and couples around the world to limit the number of their births, but they do not use contraception for many reasons, including what was mentioned above.
Government intervention is required, so politicians and development program managers can take the following main steps to ensure that contraceptive services are available and accessible to all who want them.
1. Abolishing policies that restrict freedom of choice:
Policies restricting contraceptive use include: making certain methods illegal (such as voluntary sterilization), restricting advertisements for contraception, restricting contraceptive distribution to doctors only, and preventing women from obtaining contraception without their husbands’ permission.
2. Provide financial support for family planning services:
Family planning is a cost-effective investment that ultimately saves lives in addition to the material savings that result from it.
3. Use appropriate information, education and communication strategies to inform people about family planning:
Programs can help ensure that husbands have sufficient information to make a sound decision about their contraceptive choices by providing face-to-face counseling with appropriate printed materials and the use of the media.
4. Support research and evaluation of family planning methods and programs:
Research in contraceptive techniques contributes to the development of new methods, improvement of current methods, and knowledge of the safety of the method that organizes the family through its use. Researching how family planning programs work can help determine the best way to deliver different contraceptive methods in multiple cultures.
By allowing women the freedom to control the number and spacing of their births, family planning helps women maintain their health and fertility and also contributes to improving their overall quality of life. Family planning also contributes to improving children’s health and ensuring that they have adequate food, clothing, housing and educational opportunities. Family planning brings these improvements in health and quality of life at a very low cost compared to the investments in most other health and social interventions.
Allocating human and financial resources to improve family planning services will not only improve the health and well-being of the family, but will also support efforts to achieve sustainable population density.