Assessing the Commonly Used Family Planning Method Among the Youth in Kwabedu Community
The main objective of the study is to assess the commonly used family planning method among the youth in kwabedu community, and the specific objectives are:
- To examine the type of planning method used by Youth in Kwabedu Community.
- To evaluate how effective family planning method is for Youth in Kwabedu community
- To highlight the reasons for choosing the type of selected family planning method.
Concept of Family Planning
Family planning is a multifaceted concept that encompasses a range of strategies, techniques, and interventions aimed at enabling individuals and couples to make informed decisions about their reproductive lives and achieve their desired family size. It involves the use of various contraceptive methods, the provision of reproductive health services, and the promotion of reproductive rights and choices (Patrick, 2012). Several scholars have contributed to the conceptualization of family planning, providing insights into its underlying principles and goals.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), family planning is defined as “the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births” (WHO, 2015). This definition emphasizes the importance of choice and control in reproductive decision-making, allowing individuals and couples to plan their families according to their personal circumstances and aspirations.
Family planning is a fertility regulation approach that is adopted voluntarily by individuals and couples, in order to promote both personal and family health and well-king. According to a resolution of the Twenty-six World Health Assembly:
Family planning plays important public health roles in regulating fertility (population growth) and reducing mortality, especially maternal mortality. In developing countries, as compared to developed ones, there is still rapid population growth and high mortality rates. In these same countries, contraceptive use is still very low (Hawkins, 2014). The greatest problem of our time is the rapid growth of population, especially developing countries where this population growth matters, because it has enormous impact on human life.
Promotion of family planning in countries with high birth rates has the potential of reducing poverty and hunger, while at the same time averting 32 percent of all maternal deaths and nearly 10 percent of child mortality. This would contribute substantially to women’s empowerment, achievement of universal primary schooling and long term environmental sustainability 10, 27 (Hawkins, 2014).
Hawkins 14 observed that family planning services offer various economic benefits to the household, country and the world at large. First, family planning permits individuals to influence the timing and the number of births, which is likely to save lives of children. Secondly, by reducing unwanted pregnancies, family planning service can reduce injury, illness and death associated with child birth, abortions and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AID (Barron, 2015).
Every year almost 515,000 women die from problems linked to pregnancy and child birth, and approximately 30 more develop serious disabling problems. Family planning could prevent many of these deaths and much of this disability. Unintended pregnancy is a worldwide problem that affects women, their families and society. Unintended pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of morbidity for women (Fehring, 2013), and with health behaviors during pregnancy that are associated with adverse effects. For example, women with an unintended pregnancy may delay prenatal care, which may affect the health of the infant. Women of all ages may have unintended pregnancies, but some groups, such as teens, are at a higher risk (Fehring, 2013).
The Guttmacher Institute defines family planning as “a range of practices that help individuals and couples choose the number, timing, and spacing of their children” (Guttmacher Institute, 2021). This definition emphasizes the comprehensive nature of family planning, encompassing not only contraceptive methods but also the broader aspects of reproductive decision-making, including timing and spacing of pregnancies.
Family Planning is considered as a basic human right. Every Individual has a right to information about family planning; all persons have the right to decide freely whether or not to practice family planning. The current emphasis on reproductive health (RH) in population programs began years ago when human rights and women’s health advocates began to question the rationale of traditional policies that mainly focused on reducing population growth through the provision of family planning services (Hardee, 2011).
The consensus definition of reproductive health ratified at the 2016 ICPD represents an important initial step in the process of health service transformation. Reproductive health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes (Sharma, 2016). Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.
Implicit in this last condition are the rights of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice, as well as other methods of their choice for regulation of fertility which are not against the law, and the right of access to appropriate health care services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant (Hardee, 2011).
According to 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, sexuality education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counseling, and treatment of involuntary infertility (WHO, 2011).
Family planning programs vary in their characteristics and elements. Consequently, programs may differ in the ways they influence contraceptive use, employment opportunities, and other aspects of women’s lives. These variations must be taken into account in any explanatory model of the effect of family planning on women’s lives (Hong & Seltzer, 2011).
According to the Senate Policy Brief titled Promoting Reproductive Health (2009), the history of reproductive health in the Philippines dates back to 1967 when leaders of 12 countries including the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos signed the Declaration on Population. The Philippines agreed that the population problem be considered and inadequate maternal and child health (MCH) as the principal element for long-term economic development. Thus, the Population Commission was created to push for a lower family size norm and provide information and services to lower fertility rates. Over the past two decades, the program has had varying degrees of political support and, consequently, somewhat erratic implementation. It focuses to improve and maintain the health of mothers and children by providing universal access to family planning information and services wherever and whenever these are needed (Cuevas, 2007).
Information that can contribute to saving lives includes (1) Proper spacing of pregnancies (at least 2 years apart); (2) Proper timing of pregnancies (within 20-35 years old); (3) Fewer pregnancies (not more than 4 children), are all aimed to contribute in the reduction of neonatal, infant, under-five, and maternal deaths . The Targets for the PFPP are the Married couples of the Reproductive Age (MACRA) group (15-49 years old): (1) those who have had pregnancies for the past 15 months, (2) those below 20 years and above 35 years old, (3) those who have more than 4 children, (4) Those with medical complications that do not necessitate pregnancy (DOH, 2006). The design, management, and implementation of the program abide with the following principles termed as the four pillars of the Family Planning program: responsible parenthood, respect for life, birth spacing and informed choice (DOH, 2006).
This chapter presents the research methodology employed in assessing the commonly used family planning methods among youth in Kwabedu Community. It includes the study area and population, study design, sample size, data collection methods, sampling technique, and research instruments utilized in the study.
Study area and population
The study focuses on Kwabedu Community, a vibrant urban community located in Ghana. The entire number of units from whom evaluation representatives are drawn is referred to as the population (Akhtar, 2016). As defined by Saunders et al. (2015), a population is the total number of cases from which a sample is selected. The target population for this study comprises youth residing in Kwabedu Community. The youth population is of particular interest due to their unique perspectives, experiences, and behaviors regarding family planning methods.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter is targeted at analyzing the data collected adopting a simple percentage and frequency presentation. The presentation is done in a tabular form for clarity and easy understanding. To get the research data, 145 questionnaires were distributed and successfully collected back.
Discussion of findings
The first analyzed objective indicates that a significant proportion of respondents have chosen their current family planning methods based on factors such as convenience, ease of use, effectiveness in preventing unintended pregnancies, alignment with personal values and beliefs, and minimal side effects and health risks. These findings suggest that individuals consider a range of factors when selecting a family planning method, indicating the importance of personalized decision-making. Also, the analysis the experiences of the respondents regarding the use and effectiveness of their chosen family planning methods.
A substantial percentage of respondents reported encountering difficulties or challenges in using their methods consistently and correctly. Additionally, a majority believed that their current family planning methods effectively prevented unintended pregnancies. However, a notable proportion also reported experiencing contraceptive failures or unintended pregnancies, indicating potential gaps in the effectiveness of certain methods.
In addition, the analyis sheds light on the reasons influencing respondents’ choices of family planning methods. It indicates that personal values and beliefs, convenience, ease of use, and minimal side effects and health risks are important considerations for many individuals. These findings underscore the significance of individual preferences and priorities when selecting a family planning method. The findings highlight the complexity and diversity of factors influencing family planning decisions among the respondents. While convenience, effectiveness, personal values, and health-related factors play significant roles in decision-making, there are variations in individual experiences and preferences. It is important to consider these findings when developing family planning programs and interventions, ensuring that a range of methods and information are available to meet the diverse needs and preferences of individuals. Furthermore, the identification of challenges in consistent and correct use of family planning methods and the reported instances of contraceptive failures or unintended pregnancies call for increased awareness, education, and support for individuals in the community. This could include improved access to information, counseling services, and regular monitoring of method effectiveness to ensure optimal outcomes for family planning users.
This study aimed to assess the commonly used family planning methods among youth in the Kwabedu community. Through a quantitative research methodology, valuable insights were obtained regarding the preferences, experiences, and decision-making factors related to family planning methods. The findings revealed that individuals in the Kwabedu community consider various factors when selecting a family planning method. Convenience, ease of use, effectiveness in preventing unintended pregnancies, alignment with personal values and beliefs, and minimal side effects and health risks emerged as significant considerations in their decision-making process. These findings emphasize the importance of personalized approaches and the need for a range of family planning options to meet the diverse needs and preferences of individuals.
The study also identified challenges faced by respondents, such as difficulties in consistent and correct use of family planning methods. It is crucial to address these challenges through targeted interventions, including improved access to information, counseling services, and ongoing support, to enhance the effectiveness and satisfaction of family planning services in the community. Moreover, the study highlighted the need for increased awareness and education regarding family planning methods. The reported instances of contraceptive failures or unintended pregnancies underscore the importance of continuous monitoring and evaluation of method effectiveness, as well as the provision of comprehensive information to empower individuals to make informed choices.
Based on the findings of the study, several recommendations can be made to improve family planning practices among youth in the Kwabedu community:
Education and Awareness: Implement comprehensive education and awareness programs on family planning methods, their effectiveness, benefits, and potential challenges. These programs should target both youth and healthcare providers to ensure accurate and up-to-date information is disseminated.
Access to a Variety of Methods: Ensure a wide range of family planning methods are readily available and accessible to youth in the community. This includes providing access to contraceptives, counseling services, and information about different methods to empower individuals to make informed choices based on their preferences and needs.
Youth-Friendly Services: Establish youth-friendly clinics and services that cater specifically to the needs of young people. These services should be non-judgmental, confidential, and easily accessible, promoting a comfortable and supportive environment for youth to seek family planning services.
Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation: Regularly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and outcomes of family planning methods used by youth in the community. This will help identify any gaps or challenges in method usage and provide insights for improvement.
Support and Counseling: Offer comprehensive counseling services to youth to address any difficulties or challenges they may encounter in using family planning methods consistently and correctly. This can help increase method adherence and reduce contraceptive failures.
Collaboration with Community Leaders: Collaborate with community leaders, including religious and cultural figures, to promote positive attitudes towards family planning and address any misconceptions or myths surrounding contraceptive use. Engaging community leaders can help increase acceptance and support for family planning practices.
Research and Innovation: Encourage further research and innovation in the field of family planning to develop new methods that address the specific needs and preferences of youth. This can include exploring technological advancements, long-acting reversible contraceptives, and male contraceptive options.
The study focused on assessing the commonly used family planning methods among youth in the Kwabedu community. Through a quantitative research methodology, data was collected to understand the preferences, experiences, and decision-making factors related to family planning among the youth. The findings revealed that youth in the Kwabedu community consider various factors when selecting a family planning method, including convenience, effectiveness, personal values, and minimal side effects and health risks. Challenges in consistent and correct use of family planning methods were identified, and instances of contraceptive failures or unintended pregnancies were reported. Based on the study’s findings, several recommendations were made, including the implementation of education and awareness programs, ensuring access to a variety of family planning methods, establishing youth-friendly services, continuous monitoring and evaluation, providing support and counseling, collaboration with community leaders, promoting research and innovation, advocating for supportive policies, and establishing long-term follow-up mechanisms.
- Andrews, M., et al (2008), Transcultural Concepts in Nursing Care, 5th Ed., Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
- Berek, J. (2006), Berek & Novak’s Gynecology, 14th ed., Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
- Berman, A. & S. Snyder (2011), Kozier and Erb’s Fundamentals of Nursing, 9th Edition, Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Asia Pte Ltd
- Burkman, R.T. (2007), Contraception & Family Planning. In A. H. DeCherney & L. (Nathan Eds.). Current diagnosis & treatment in obstetrics and gynecology (10TH ed.). Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill
- Cacanindin (2010), Nursing Research: Study Notes and Guide, C & E Publishing Inc.
- Cherlin, A. J. (2008), Public and private families. New York: McGraw- Hill Publishing Company.
- Cuevas, F. (2007), Public Health Nursing in the Philippines, Publications Committee National League of Philippine Government Nurses
- Cunningham, F.G. , et al. (2008), Contraception. In F. G. Cunningham, et al. (Eds.). William Obstetrics (22nd ed.). Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill.
- Fogel, W, (2008), Women’s healthcare in Practiced Nursing. Springer Publishing Company.
- Geroge. J. (2011), Nursing theories: the base for professional nursing practice. Pennsylvania, Pearson Education
- Kaplan, D. W. &Love- Osborne, K. A. (2007), “Adolescence”, In A. H. DeCheney & L Nathan (Eds.). Current diagnosis & treatment in obstetrics & gynecology (10th ed.). Columbus, OH: McGraw- Hill.