Family Planning Methods

They include contraceptives which prevent a pregnancy from occurring following sexual intercourse and contraplantives which prevent a zygote from implanting in the womb.

Abortion is such example which can induce an implanted ovum (embryo) to be dislodged and pass through from a woman's body. It is deliberate termination of a pregnancy before it is viable to live an independent life a part from the mother's womb.

The prevention of birth can be organised and achieved at the following points:-

                       Sequence                                  preventive measures

1.                  The women ovulate                             Contraceptive pill.

2.                  The couple have intercourse                Safe period method.

3.                  The man ejaculates                              Withdraw/coitus interrupts.

4.                  The sperm impregnates the woman     Contraceptive appliances.

5.                  The embryo develops viability            Abortion.

6.                 The zygote implants in the womb       Contraceptive appliances .

A child is born a result of two events; conception implantation and the process of growth.


Contraceptives therefore help to intervene or prevent on the initial conception or use of various methods by which a couple can avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Permanent Methods of Family Planning

There are only two permanent methods but in principle only one since all end in an operation.

In males, vasectomy; which is legation of both ducts (vas deference) where a simple operation can be done in an out patient clinic. After the operation sperms can stay in the testicles for up to six years but are disconnected to access fertilisation .


These permanent methods have to be done when one is fully aware that in whatever circumstance one should not desire more children it is irreversible.

Temporary Methods (Males)

In males, there are only two methods;


Coitus interruptus /Withdraw

Withdrawal is the deliberate removal of the penis from the vagina before ejaculation so that sperm is not deposited in or near the vagina. It is the oldest and also called Onanism named after Onan in the Bible who did not want to produce for the dead brother (Gen 38:8-9).

This method of contraception is not recommended, because drops of fluid secreted by the penis when it first becomes erect can contain enough sperm to cause pregnancy. In addition, a man may not withdraw in time. With typical use, withdrawal is effective in preventing pregnancy 81 percent of the time. Withdrawal does not protect against STIs.


A condom is a thin disposable, rubber device worn over an erect penis to trap seminal fluids during intercourse so that it does not enter the woman's vagina. Condom, type of birth control in the form of a physical barrier that prevents sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg.

There are both male and female condoms. The male condom is a thin, form-fitting sheath worn on the erect penis during sexual intercourse. The female condom consists of a thin polyurethane pouch with a ring on each end. The smaller, closed ring is placed inside the vagina and the larger, open ring remains outside the body at the opening of the vagina.

Temporary Methods (Females)

Rhythm! safe period: This refers to the time during menstruation cycle when conception cannot occur. Ovulation may occur 14 days before the first day following menstruation. Usually after menstruation the first six days can be safe period but between the 7- 11 th day after menstruation fertilisation is possible 5 days before and 2 days after therefore sexual intercourse can be avoided for these 9 days; thereafter one has full safe period.

The woman usually develops threadlike vaginal discharge at ovulation period for about 3 days and usually there is body temperature raise over 48 hours.

This method can be safe if normal order is followed but if there are irregularities e.g. though it takes 28 days to the next menstruation, it can at times reduce to 21 days or over days.

Because of the irregularities; a woman can have time to check on vaginal fluids; if they are think and sticky, yellowish / dark then conception easily can occur so she avoids sexual relationship. This also happens when she has high appetite for sex since she is now on heat.


There are varieties;

The occlusive cap: Covers the cervix and mechanically obstructs the entrance of spermatozoa. For effectiveness, spermatozoa jelly is used as well after inserting. Diaphragm (Dutch cap): these are shallow rubber cap fitted across the vagina and have a flat/ coiled spring.

Vault cap (Dammas cap) which is about shaped which clings to the vaginal vacelt by sanction.

Cervical cap: Covers the vaginal portion of the cervix.

However, all caps should be used with spermicides for safety and are in different sizes.

Prolonged breast feeding:

This is a traditional way of practice of family planning where 90% of women cannot conceive within the first six months after delivering while breast feeding and a few cannot conceive as long as breast feeding is on.

Injectable contraceptive (Depo provera):

These are hormones similar to oral contraceptives given to a woman once every 3 months through an injection.

Prolonged breast feeding:

This is a traditional way of practice of family planning where 90% of women cannot conceive within the first six months after delivery while breast feeding and a few cannot conceive as long as breast feeding is on.

Chemical contraceptives:

These can be from of jellies, foams, cream pastes and peccaries. They either kill the sperm/ inactivate them. The disadvantage is that high failure may be expected soused to be used with a condom/ sheath.

Oral contraceptives (the pill):

These are pills swallowed orally and act by stopping ovulation from occurring. They either suppress pituitary output of the female hormone in the blood stream responsible for ripening the egg or interfere with the action of hormone on the egg. (In African tradition they had herbs used orally to stop pregnancies.)

For effectiveness the course should begin the fifth (5th) day after commencement of menstruation period and continues for 20 days, followed by 7 days during menstruation. It has 2 basic formulae; the oestrogen and progesterone combination in the tablet.

Morning after pill:

This pill has to be swallowed by a woman after intercourse has taken place to prevent implantation of zygote if conception has taken place. It is difficult to known whether one had conceived or not since no pregnancy is realised.

Contra plantives:

These operate after conception has occurred to prevent the zygote from implanting in the womb e.g. Norplast (Norplant).

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a small object inserted into a woman's uterus to prevent pregnancy. Studies suggest that the body may identify the IUD as a foreign object and produce large numbers of immune-system cells called white blood cells to attack it. These white blood cells then disable any sperm or eggs present in the uterus.

IUDs must be inserted and removed by a health-care professional. Each IUD has a plastic string attached that hangs down through the cervix, allowing a woman to check that the IUD is still in place.

Only 0.5 percent of American women 15 to 44 years of age who use contraception rely on the IUD. This form of contraception is used most often by women over the age of 35, women who have been previously married, and women who do not plan to have additional children. In typical use, the IUD is 96 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.

This form of birth control was invented 3,000 years ago when desert peoples put smooth pebbles in the uterus of a camel to prevent it from getting pregnant on treks across the desert. Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates later suggested this method for women. Various substances have been used as primitive IUDs, including ivory, wood, glass, and some precious metals.

IUDs were first approved as a method of birth control in the United States in the 1960s. The device was popular until an IUD known as the Dalkon Shield, introduced in the early 1970s, was found to cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women who used it. PID, an infection of the reproductive tract, can cause infertility as well as ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterus. In some cases, PID can result in death. More than 10,000 women filed lawsuits against A. H. Robins, the company that made the Dalkon Shield. In 1974 the Dalkon Shield was taken off the market. In 1980 A. H. Robins formally advised physicians to remove the Dalkon Shield from women who were still using it.

Studies of the Paragard Copper T 380A and Progestasert Progesterone T device have found that users of these devices have little risk of developing PID. The greatest danger occurs in the first four months after insertion of the device, especially among women at high risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Long-term use of IUDs has been shown to decrease the risk of developing PID.

Immediately after insertion of the IUD, most women experience some pain and bleeding. In the following few months, some women may also experience heavier than normal periods, spotting between periods, and cramping. Other possible side effects of the IUD include an allergic reaction to copper, perforation of the uterus, and embedding of the IUD in the uterus. IUDs do not protect against STIs such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Therefore, they are not recommended for women with multiple sexual partners. IUDs are also not recommended for women who have not had children. Studies have shown that these women are more likely to expel the device and to experience more pain and bleeding than other women.

Advantages of family planning

The couple may decide not to have children so use the methods to avoid unwanted babies.

Some people already have big families and so couple does not need additional children.

Family planning helps people to plan their future i.e. get children at planned times. It helps to control overpopulation.

F.P methods make it possible for couples to enjoy sex e.g. coitus interruptus.


They are not 100% perfect and therefore pregnancy can occur where there is a defect in the method e.g. damaged condom, irregularity in taking pills.

Some methods create psychological tensions during the act of sex e.g. coitus interruptus.

Condoms may cause un satisfaction; actually women need the semen into their vagina to feel cool and satisfied.

Rhythm is unreliable during breast feeding period/ no pause.

Chemicals may produce irritations of the vaginal wall i.e. foaming tablets, jellies can be irritative/ itch to sensitive women.

In a few cases I.U.D can produce infection leading to blockage of fallopian tubes therefore infertility or can cause cancer (Cervical).

Some methods need a combination e.g. chemical contraceptives may fail so a need for condom or sheath.

Many course heavy bleeding during menstruation such as I.UD. because of foreign bodies in the uterus.

Some hormone pills have produced abnormalities in babies if a mother takes them without knowing that she is expecting especially the fast 3 months of pregnancy when body organs are being formed.

Oral contraceptives have side effects which include weight gain / loss, nausea, breast heaviness etc.

Very high discipline is necessary for instance pills have to be taken at particular times way, proper counting of days is necessary for safe periods.

Tubaligation and vasectomy (sterilisation) makes one less than man/ woman because the operation changes the way God made us and therefore the functioning of the body is altered.

The moral objection of the pill is that it interferes with the natural functioning of the body so are contraplantives.

All Christians agree that it is wrong for the couple to deliberately not to have children on selfish grounds.

Some are of the opinion that the use of contraplantives is equivalent to killing another human being.

As a Christian assess the arguments for and against the various methods of family planning.

None of the churches is opposed to the idea of family planning but the differences come when it comes to the methods used.

The central point of the churches about family planning is the lawfulness of the methods.

They therefore differ on the methods to be used as illustrated below:-

The Roman Catholic Church does not compromise on any artificial methods such as pills, condoms, spermicides, coitus interrupts, I. U. D etc apart from natural ones e.g. safe period and breast feeding.

Coitus interrupts is objected by some Christians for interrupting with sexual act before it is completed which interferes with the course of nature.

The method is psychologically harmful to the couple and therefore not right.

Others think that it is against God will and incur God's wrath as seen in Gen 38 where Onan was killed for refusing to take responsibility of raising children for his late brother Er by spilling semen on the ground.

The pills also interfere with natural functioning of the body and some Christians think it is sinful.

Some Christians have problems with contraplantives because they are believed to prevent implantation of the zygote and this is like killing human life e.g. I.U.D, Norplant.

Other Christians do not have any problem with contraplatives because it is when the zygote implants that are when a body registers a woman pregnant and body changes can follow.

Some Christians also object to family planning methods are man's invention to divert the intentions of God; to multiply and fill the earth (Gen. 1: 28).

Some object sterilisation that it reduces one to something less than man or woman. There operation changes the way men and women were created.

Others feel that man was given to the power to be creative e.g. can improve on his weight, can remove false teeth, make hair styles, cutting hair and nails in order to look a better person.

Contraceptives like condom, cervical cap, spermicides, have been objected that they are against God's will.

It is also sinful if a couple aim at enjoying sexual intercourse without intention of conception of selfish grounds.

Abortion is generally condemned by all churches as murder.

The Roman Catholic Church argues that using contraceptives is not God's plan and that these are offences against the dignity of human beings.

They are also against artificial methods because they are against the natural law of reproduction (Gen 1 :28).

Methods that are used to kill the foetus (e.g. abortion) after fertilisation has taken place are against God's command (Exodus. 2: 13) 'Do not kill.'

The Roman Catholic Church also argues that children are God's blessings so by using family planning would be deliberate denial of a gift.

Some artificial methods lead to serious complications like the pill; may lead to nausea, permanent barrenness developing swellings on the uterus.

The protestant churches support family planning on conditions that artificial methods are not intended for sexual immorality.

They also accept on condition of advice of a medical personnel if it is only way to save life.

They also accept that if these methods are used in marriage and not for immorality.

Examine the views of various churches on methods of family planning (see above)

The areas of conflict are:-

  • Interrupted sexual intercourse when as man ejaculates outside the vagina.
  • Use of injectables.
  • Use of condoms/ shealt or diaphragm.
  • Intra - uterine Devices (HID).
  • Sterilisation (Vasectomy/ tubaligation )
  • Contraceptives e.g. pills.
  • Abortion.
  • Romance.
  • Removal of the uterus is not approved but most people approve of extended lactation, abstinence safe period.

Comment: On the whole the methods may be put in 2 categories; artificial and natural rhythm.

Artificial methods allow sex but prevent conceptions.

This method is rejected by the Catholic Church and the reason being interference with natural creation and blessing of man; viz multiply and fill the earth, to enjoy sex naturally and fully in material love. God knows how to take care of the world and human population.

Most of the methods affect health encourages immorality.

Some methods like abortion are tantamount to murder which denies prospective human beings to live.

The natural methods / rhythm of avoiding sex when conception is likely to take place are the only method that more churches agreed upon.

As a Christian, assess the arguments for and against the various methods of family planning.          

(Discuss reasons for accepting FP and state arguments against various methods.)

Abortion has become a serious problem and is unethical unethical."

Or (Justify the rationale for abortion or discuss the view that abortion can be legitimised.

Abortion is the deliberate expulsion of the unborn child from the mothers' womb. While incapable of independent life.

It is also a situation where the mother deliberately gets rid of the child whom she has conceived.

Abortion has become a moral and ethical problem calling for attention by society.

However, some people feel it should be legalised/ legitimised as a way of checking on the population growth in the country.

If the mother suffers from uterine cancer it might be dangerous to continue with the pregnancy.

It minimises congestion in a home especially when basic needs are limited.

It can be legitimised if the child is conceived through rape, incest or adultery; it may continue to be a living testimony of such experience.

If she develops breast cancer which is cured by a strong drug RV486 which often induce Abortion.

If the unborn child is likely to be deformed and likely not to live normal life.

If the mother is unmarried, the child might be a great burden especially if not employed.

It likely to be an economic burden to the mother if she is a prostitute.

In case of political instability.

If the pregnancy is likely to be a serious danger to the life of the mother especially, AIDS Victim or on advice of medical practitioner.

If the mother would like to continue with studies.

If the mother and father are too busy with their duties and may not have time for the baby.

If one wanted a different sex and only to learn that foetus is of the sex and only to learn that foetus is of the sex not wanted can be removed at will.

Some argue that the baby is an extension of the mother (Physical dependence) and so the mother has a right to control her body.

However, Abortion should not be legitimised because of the following:-

It may lead to death of the mother; actually many have died in the process.

Gives a lot of pain to the mother so it is a dangerous exercise.

Abortion is illegal in zone countries. It is violation of unborn baby's right to live/ life. May give a lot of guilt! emotional torture to the mother.

If it is carried out without consent of husband it can lead to divorce.

Doctors who assist in abortion break the Hippocratic Oath of saving / preserving life and not destroy.

It can cause permanent infertility i.e. no chance of producing again. It can become addictive to the reason doing it.

It can lead to serious complications.

Christian view of abortion

It is wrong for the state to legalise it, in the process they will be encouraging many to do so.

Christian and their different churches do not have same view.

Some give extreme views that have same views that in case the health of mother can only be saved. Abortion done merely to allow the mother escape responsibility is wrong because our heavenly father can give material, moral and emotional strength.

There is therefore no recommendation, if circumstances do not affect the mothers' health by the church.

Children are a blessing from God so by abortion one is abusing God's blessing. There are some who wish to have children in vain so abortion misuses the chance. Through abortion, some fail to have children; this is a curse.

God knows even the unborn right from the womb (Jer.1) so why deny them.

Growing number of street Children in Uganda

Street children are young persons who roam streets in towns in search for survival and are in most cases parentless or homeless.

It is a fact that there is increase of street children in urban centres especially Kampala, Jinja, Mbale etc. This phenomenon is caused by:-

There are children who are born out of wedlock who lack parental care. Some may be children of single mothers who cannot afford to care for them.

Some of these children are born out of prostitution and their mothers dump them on the street as they continue with their business.

Some children are from war ravaged area where all parents died or were disunited from their parents as each run for ones life and are helpless.

Some may have had homes but lost all parents all parents either through AIDS or other catastrophe and lack anybody to care for them.

Famine and hunger has made some join the streets e.g. many Karamojongs are flooded in streets because of difficult conditions of drought causing famine in their places.

Cattle rustling especially in Karamoja and near/ neighbouring places or areas has affected many to go to the streets.

Some children are juvenile delinquents who become unruly and end up in towns.

Others first join the town as beggars; actually some people use them to get money for them and in the evening they are paid a difference.

Peer influence and association with those who are already on the streets who encourage them a cheaper way of survival.

Some children are from broken marriages.

Parents sometimes favour some children making others to feel resented.

Frustrations cause some to join the streets.

There is growing aspect of permissiveness where children can do anything without anybody caring.

Problems caused by Street Children

Some end up as pick picketers and grow further end up as robbers.

These children cause embarrassment e.g. use forceful means of getting money e.g. can hold faeces and are ready to throw on somebody if he does not give the money.

Cause traffic jams i.e. movement a problem since they fill the streets and one has to calculate how to pass or dodge them.

There who are used by other people to collect for them money incontinence other peoples programmes e.g. one is forced to cut part of his expenditure to help these children.

It brings about irresponsibility among these children; everyday one wakes up as if going for a job or to work and cannot plan for oneself.

They live unhygienic places; sleep on verandas, eat from dustbins area health hazard.

They often litter faeces any where leading to unhygienic conditions of the town.

Some can cause accidents or are victims of accidents e.g. after pick pocketing and someone tries to follow up; the movement can cause accidents.

It creates laziness.

It creates in them to become hard core criminals. a Someone used in conspiracy by criminals.

It causes religiosity and decline of cultural moral discipline.


Government should set up rehabilitation centres like Kefa Sempangi had done under the African foundation.

Set up projects where some can be employed to do some casual jobs for survival.

Preach the gospel for parents to take up their role to avoid children running away from homes.

Faithfulness to avoid illegitimate children.

Condemn prostitution; this can begin with men who buy them so that they lack market.

Arrest these children and put them in gazetted places for from the street.

Pray to God to intervene.

Invite NGOs to come in and have a programme for them.

Provide for their basic needs.

In case of adverse conditions like drought, famine; government should set up valley dams and provide water resources for people to settle down and water their crops.

Plant more trees to enable rain coverage to increase for proper agricultural production. Guidance and counselling is needed after taking them to gazetted places.