Friday, July 13, 2007

Family planning

Family planning is often used as a euphemism for birth control, though its connotations are somewhat different. It is most usually applied to the circumstance of a monogamous heterosexual couple who wish to limit their number of children, to control the timing of pregnancy , or both. Inherent in the idea is that the couple does have at least one child, that is, they use birth control to plan, not to prevent, a family.

Family planning may include more or less permanent abstinence, or the marginally effective withdrawal method, or methods of sexual satisfaction other than genital intercourse, More commonly, however, it is considered to be a system that allows a couple to have sexual intercourse on a long-term, regular basis, during which the man normally reaches orgasm and ejaculation in the woman's vagina, while nevertheless sharply and reliably reducing the chance that she will become pregnant until such time as the couple wish. Family planning thus often incorporates methods of birth control that either prevent fertilization or work after fertilization to prevent the implantation of an embryo. The essence of family planning, then, is to make intercourse purely a means of expressing love, building stability in the relationship, and sharing physical pleasure, and not a means of reproducing.


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