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close this bookWhere Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)
close this folderChapter 13: Family Planning
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBenefits of Family Planning
View the documentIs Family Planning Safe?
View the documentChoosing to Use Family Planning
Open this folder and view contentsChoosing a Family Planning Method
Open this folder and view contentsBarrier Methods of Family Planning
Open this folder and view contentsHormonal Methods of Family Planning hormones
Open this folder and view contentsIntra-Uterine Devices (Devices that go into the womb)
Open this folder and view contentsNatural Methods of Family Planning
View the documentTraditional and Home Methods to Prevent Pregnancy
View the documentPermanent Methods of Family Planning
View the documentEmergency Methods of Family Planning
View the documentChoosing the Best Method
View the documentWorking for Change

Choosing to Use Family Planning


You have a right to make your own decisions about family planning.

Some women want a lot of children - especially in communities where poor people are denied a fair share of land, resources, and social benefits. This is because children help with work and provide care for their parents in old age. In these places, having just a few children may be a privilege only wealthier people can afford.

Other women may want to limit the number of children they have. This often happens where women have opportunities to study and earn income, and where they can negotiate with men in a more equal way.

No matter where a woman lives, she will be healthier if she has control over how many children she has, and when she will have them. Still, deciding to use - or not to use - family planning should always be a woman’s choice.

Talking with your husband or partner about family planning

It is best if you can talk together with your husband or partner about choosing to use family planning and what method you will use.

Some men do not want their wives to use family planning, often because they do not know very much about how different methods work. A man may worry about his wife’s health, because he has heard stories about the dangers of family planning. He may fear that if a woman uses family planning, she will have sex with another man. Or he may also think it is ‘manly’ to have lots of children.

Try sharing the information in this chapter with your partner. It may help him understand that:

· family planning will allow him to take better care of you and your children.

· child spacing is safer for you and your children.

· family planning can make sex with him more pleasant, because neither of you will have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy. Being protected against unwanted pregnancy will not make you want to have sex with other men.

If your husband still does not want you to use family planning even after learning about its benefits, you must decide whether you will use family planning anyway. If you do, you may need to choose a method that can be used without your partner knowing about it.