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What are Family Planning Services?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Family planning services is a collective term for strategies, counseling and assistance in understanding the responsibilities associated with having children. While many tend to think of family planning as being focused solely on sex education and encouraging the use of birth control, family planning methods go beyond simply attempting to minimize the incidence of unplanned births.

Many people are surprised to find that family planning services are offered to couples who are thinking about starting a family. Often, the support services include general information about the task of child rearing, the costs associated with raising children, and developing strong parental skills. Family planning programs help couples explore whether or not they are ready to bring children into the world and provide prospective parents with reliable information that will help them provide their children with the care and nurture every child deserves.

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A family planning center can also help people make informed choices about how to go about preventing pregnancy until the couple is ready to start a family. Information on various methods of birth control, ranging from natural methods to contraceptive medication and devices for both men and women, is provided. Along with pointing out the benefits of each method or device, family planning services will also address any potential health risks associated with the use of each approach to birth control. This wealth of information makes it possible for people who have decided to be sexually active but do not want a child to choose the methods that will work best for them.

Providing sex education to people of many different ages is also a core function of family planning services. Age-appropriate presentations and printed material help to provide factual information that can help individuals be more aware of the responsibility that comes with the decision to be sexually active. Some family planning services of this type are faith-based, while others are secular and are intended for a wider audience.

The basis for all family planning services is educating people so they can make responsible and informed choices without being influenced by myths or information that is no longer relevant in today’s world. Preteens and teens can learn about the nature and responsibility of physical intimacy in a safe environment, while adults can explore how and when to begin a family. While many family planning services tend to focus more on a particular segment of the population, just about any planning center will have resources that will be appropriate for any age or gender.

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