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Women And Family Planning

When we talk about women and health, we are opening a pandora’s box, for there are very many facets to the issue on hand. Women are biologically and emotionally different from men. Their bodily and health needs are significantly different with the rest of the people. Developmental health care for women and studies related to women’s health segregates the women’s group based on age. The groups referred to generally are the infants; girl child of age up to twelve, the teen of age between thirteen to nineteen, young women between twenty to forty, older women from forty to sixty years of age and the last category is that of senior citizens consisting of women above sixty years of age.

The medical needs and requirements of each of these groups vary with reference to their lifecycle. A woman from the onset of puberty until menopause goes through the productive child bearing years. Puberty, pregnancy and delivery signify a change in the biological and psychological process in the woman. Unlike animals that mate only during a particular season, humans do not have such cycle or season to procreate. Therefore the humans have got to find and adopt family planning methods in order to control the number of children that they can have.

Family planning is very essential and crucial not only from the point of view of control of population but to the overall health and well being of the mother and the child as well. One of the major factors affecting the health of the women in middle income and lower income countries is her inability to plan her family and to space out the pregnancies. The unplanned pregnancies with very short gaps between children or the attempts at abortion place the mother at high risk in terms of infections and abortion related complications. Women’s problems with regard to her sexuality are very many. One of the major risk factor is the contraction of HIV/AIDS infection from unprotected sex. Women in countries like East Asia and Africa etc lack access to information, education and awareness regarding safe sex. Very often adolescents end up with AIDS and get pregnant immediately after puberty. The cycle of reproduction does not stop there. Within a few months from the birth of one child, the woman gets pregnant once again and gives birth to children every successive year. Such occurrences take their toll on the mother as well as the health of the children. The mother has barely any strength to recoup from one pregnancy and concentrate on looking after the new born infant let alone get bogged down with more than what she can handle.

The introduction of contraceptives and making them accessible and available to the women has been of very good help to these women. However the percentage of women who have taken to using contraceptives is still very small and marginal as compared to the number who has not ventured to using the same. Many reasons like lack of awareness, lack of easy availability of contraceptives, blind beliefs, cultural and social beliefs as well as unspoken fears bar women from adapting safe methods of family planning and thus gaining control over their health.