Family planning refers to practices that help couples to avoid unwanted births, to bring about wanted births, to regulate the interval between pregnancies, to control the time at which births occur in relation to age of parents and to determine the number of children they wish to have in their family. More specificaly, as defined by the World Health Organization, family planning allows individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary fertility.

Contraceptive methods may broadly be classified into two groups:

  • Temporary Methods
  • Permanent Methods

Temporary Methods

Condoms

These are sheaths, or coverings, that fit over a man’s erect penis. Most are made of thin latex rubber. Condoms are the only contraceptive method than can protect against, both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For greatest effectiveness correct use with every act of sex is required. They can be used without seeing a health care provider. Read more…

Oral Pills

Oral contraceptive pills are often referred to as the birth control pills. When taken by mouth every day, these pills inhibit female fertility. This is a very popular method for birth control. Usage varies widely by country, age and education. Effectiveness depends on the user’s ability.Its a policy that Oral Contraceptive Pills are not to be provided or prescribed to a woman who is pregnant or is suspected to be pregnant.

Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills
They contain low doses of 2 hormones, a ‘progestin’ and an ‘estrogen’, like the natural hormones progesterone and estrogen in a woman’s body. Combined oral contraceptives (COCs) are also called “the Pill”, low-dose combined pills, (OCPs) and (OCs). Some packets have 28 pills which contain 21 active pills bearing hormones, followed by 7 reminder pills which contain iron only. The other packets have 21 active pills bearing hormones only. These help protect against the risk of pregnancy, cancer of uterus and ovary. These pills regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce menstrual cramps and bleeding problems. Read more…

Progestin-Only Pills
They contain very low doses of a ‘progestin’ like the natural hormone progesterone in a woman’s body. They do not contain estrogen, and so can be used throughout breastfeeding and by women who cannot use pills bearing estrogen. Progestin-only pills (POPs) are also called “mini pills” and progestin-only oral contraceptives pills. For greatest effectiveness one pill is to be taken daily with no breaks at the same time. Read more…

Emergency Contraception

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According to the policy, It will be used by women only in case of emergency. It will not be used as a regular method of FP.
Emergency Contraception (EC) is a method used by a woman to prevent an unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. Two methods can be used for this purpose:
  • Oral Emergency Contraception pills (ECPs)
  • Copper-Bearing Intra Uterine Contraception Devices (IUCD)
Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs) should be used within 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected intercourse. Their effectiveness depends upon the time period elapsed between coitus and taking the method– the earlier the pills are taken the more the chances of effectiveness.
Types of ECPs available are:
  • Oral contraceptives Pills containing only progestin
  • Oral Contraceptive Pills (COCs) containing estrogen and progestin
A copper containing IUCD (Copper T 380A or multiload 375A) can also be used within 5 days of unprotected intercourse. Read more…

Injections

Contraceptive injections contain female hormones. These are slowly released in the woman’s body and provide protection against pregnancy.The policy states that injections will not be given to a woman who is pregnant or suspected to be pregnant. These injections will also not be given to a post partum woman before 6 weeks after child birth.

Progestin Only Contraceptive Injections
These injections contain ‘progestin’ like the natural hormone progesterone in a woman’s body. They do not contain estrogen, and so can be used throughout breastfeeding and by women who cannot tolerate the effect of estrogen. These injections (Progestin only) are of two types. Injection Megestron provides contraceptive effect for 3 months or 12 weeks whereas injection Norigest provides contraceptive effect for 2 months or 8 weeks. These injections do not affect the quantity and quality of breast milk.

Combined Contraceptive Injection
This type of injection contains 2 hormones, a ‘progestin’ and an ‘estrogen’, like the natural hormones progesterone and estrogen in a woman’s body. It provides the contraceptive effect for one month or 4 weeks.
The first injection may be given between 1-5 days of menstrual cycle and is repeated after every 30 days till pregnancy is not desired. Read more…

Implants

These are small silicon rods about the size of a match stick. These implants are inserted under the skin of the woman’s upper arm. They contain a hormone progestin like a natural hormone in a woman’s body. They become effective within a short time (24 hours) after insertion and protect the woman from pregnancy. They are very effective and fertility returns immediately after their removal.According to the policy these implants will be given to a woman who needs a long term contraceptive method. These implants will not be given to women who are pregnant or suspected to be pregnant. Insertion and removal will be carried only by the doctors trained in the procedures.
Implants are of three types

  • Implanon is a single rod contraceptive implant effective for 3 years
  • Sinoplant is a two rods contraceptive implant effective for 4 years
  • Norplant is a six rods contraceptive implant effective for 5 years
The implants have to be removed from their site of insertion after completion of effective period or earlier if client desires to become pregnant. Read more…

Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD)

The intra uterine contraceptive device (IUCD) is a small flexible plastic frame having the shape of the english letter ‘T’. It can be inserted into a woman’s uterus through her vagina and cervix preferably during menstruation when flow of bleeding is decreased. Its insertion leads to an effective long term prevention of pregnancy. It is reversible, and after its removal pregnancy is not delayed. It can occur as soon as in those women who do not use IUCD.As per the policy, the IUCD will be inserted by a medical or a para medical health care provider, who is trained in its insertion technique, at a facility that has acceptable standards of asepsis and infection control. A woman can start using IUCD at any time when she is reasonably certain that she is not pregnant.
These intra uterine contraceptive devices are of two types:

Copper Bearing IUCD

  • Copper-T 380A provides effective contraception for 12 years
  • Multi Load 375A provides effective contraception for 7 years
Hormone Bearing IUCD
It contains a hormone progestin and is utilized for therapeutic purpose. Contraceptive effect is an added advantage of this IUCD. Read more..

Permanent Methods

When a couple is sure that their family is complete they can opt for permanent contraception, also known as sterilization, to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
The policy of the department regarding surgical contraception is as follows:
  • Surgical contraception will be purely voluntary
  • There will be no element of coercion while offering contraceptive surgery to clients
  • Informed consent of the couple and written consent of both husband and wife will be obtained in every case
  • Clients having two living children are eligible for contraceptive surgery, provided the age of the younger child is more than 1 year

Sterilization is of two types:

Tubectomy (for females)

It is permanent method of contraception for women who do not want more children. It involves a safe simple surgical procedure and becomes effective immediately after surgery. It can be done at any time at any health care facility, after ruling out that the woman is not pregnant. Proper and effective counseling of client is required as it is a permanent method of contraception. Read more…

Vasectomy (for males)

It is a permanent method of contraception for men who do not want more children. It involves a safe simple surgical procedure. It takes three months to be effective. The man or couple must use condom or any other method of contraception for three months after vasectomy.

It is safe permanent and convenient method. It has fewer side effects and complications than many other methods of contraception for women. With proper counseling and informed consent an eligible man can have vasectomy safely. Read more…