Various artificial methods of family planning


  • Family with many members are not easy to handle and will be problematic as compared to small family.
  • So, the necessity of planning a family is felt which can be made effective by following various measures.
  • Several scientific methods of birth control have been developed in order to have a small family.
  • Thus, family planning can be defined as the practice of controlling the number of children one has and the intervals between their births, particularly by means of contraception or voluntary sterilization.
  • These may be grouped under two main categories: natural and artificial.
  • However, they should be used under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner.
  • When some external objects are used or family planning it is called artificial method.
  • The various approved artificial methods of family planning may be classified into two groups. They are:

A) Temporary methods

  • The various methods under this group are:

i)Barrier methods

  • These methods include a barrier that prevents or blocks sperm cells from reaching the ovum.
  • These are available for both men and women.
  • For this, condoms and diaphragms are generally used.

Image result for condoms and diaphragms together

a) Condoms

  • It is a sheath of animal membrane, rubber, or plastic that is placed on the erect penis.
  • It is a barrier device since the ejaculate is collected within the condom instead of within the vagina.
  • It also protects from transmission of various sexually transmitted diseases.
  • They are the most common contraceptive devices employed worldwide as they are inexpensive, easy to use, do not require medical supervision and have few side effects.
  • Condoms for both male and female are available.

b) Diaphragms

  • It is a shallow rubber cup that fits over the cervix (neck of the uterus) to prevent the sperm reaching the ovum.
  • The cup holds a spermicidal (sperm killing) jelly or cream that immobilizes any sperm that may be present around the edges of the diaphragm.

ii) Spermicidal agents

  • These are substances that are toxic to sperm cells.
  • The most commonly used spermicidal agents are foams, tablets or creams that are inserted into vagina before sexual contact.
  • They kill the sperm cells.
  • These include KMnO4, ZnSO4, lactic acid, citric acid, etc.
  • Most commonly used chemicals are Kamalchakki and Today foaming tablets.

iii) Chemical methods

  • The administration of female sex hormones to suppress fertility is one of the most effective temporary methods for preventing pregnancy.
  • Birth control pills or oral contraceptive pills usually consist of a mixture of the hormones, estrogens and progesterone.
  • Both hormones prevent ovulation, if taken in sufficient amount.
  • They are both synthetic steroids in nature.
  • They have longer half-life in the circulatory system than the natural steroids, which are rapidly degraded by liver.
  • Commonly used oral pills in Nepal are Nilokan white, Sunaulo gulaf, Kanchan, Ovaral, Mala-D, etc.
  • These pills are ingested once in each day for about 21 days.
  • Then the medication is stopped, or a placebo pill is taken for the next 7 days which is without estrogen and progesterone.
  • The resulting drops in hormones allow menstruation to occur.
  • After the stoppage of menstrual flow, the administration of the pills begins again.

Image result for kamal chakki and today foaming tablets        Related image

iv) Intra-uterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs)

  • These are tiny plastic and metal (usually copper) loops or coils.
  • These are inserted into the uterus through the cervix.
  • These work mainly by preventing fertilization, but may also interfere with the implantation of the fertilized egg into the lining of the uterus.
  • Some IUCDs also release small amounts of synthetic progesterone into the uterus to prevent conception.
  • It should be inserted by doctor or nurse as it remains in a place for 3 years.
  • Its working mechanism is not quite clear but it successfully prevents implantation of the developing embryo with the uterus.
  • However, some effects are noticed in some women like uterine cramps and increased menstrual flow.
  • Though it is an effective means some complications are noticed during its use.
  • Commonly used IUCDs are copper T-200 or loop.

Family Planning Module: 7. Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD): View  as single page

Image source: theopenuniversity

v) Depo-provera

  • It is the name for an injection of progesterone.
  • It is used at every three months.
  • It is injected into the body of a female within seven days after menstruation.
  • It prevents the release of an ovum from ovary and prevents pregnancy.
  • It is popular by name 3 month injection or Sangini injection in Nepal.

Image result for depo provera    Related image

vi) Implant

  • In this method, two small flexible capsules containing hormones are implanted in the arm of woman by trained health worker.
  • These capsules release hormones in the body which make the ovum inactive.
  • So the woman does not become pregnant after sexual intercourse.
  • A single implant of these capsules acts as contraceptive for five years.
  • The implants working for three years are also available nowadays.

Image result for implant birth control

vii) Norplant

  • It is a set of six small (3-4 cm long) flexible tubes, which are inserted under the skin of the upper arm through a minor surgery.
  • Once introduced, it is effective for five years.
  • It is a progestogen that thickens the cervical mucus, which prevents the sperms from meeting the egg.

viii) Emergency contraceptive pills

  • These pills are used for emergency purposes.
  • It prevents pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse.
  • A woman takes two tablets within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse and the second dose of remaining two tablets after 12 hours.
  • These are available in the name of E-con or i-pills.
  • However, these pills should not be used frequently as they have various side effects.

B) Permanent methods

  • These include surgical methods, which are suitable for the couples already having two or more children. These are:

i) Vasectomy

  • It is a commonly used method that makes a male permanently incapable of fertilization.
  • In this method, both the spermatic ducts coming from the testes are cut and tied separately within the scrotal sac.
  • This prevents the sperms from coming out during ejaculation.
  • Finally the sperm cells are destroyed in the epididymis.

Image result for vasectomy      Image result for vasectomy

ii) Tubectomy

  • It is also a common method of permanent birth control in females.
  • Both the fallopian tubes are tied and cut or clamped through an incision made through the wall of the abdomen.
  • Laparoscopy is commonly used for this purpose so that only a small opening is required to perform the operation.

Image result for tubectomy meaning      Image result for tubectomy meaning

iii) Interruption of pregnancy

  • Surgical procedure called abortion might be used to terminate the unwanted pregnancies.
  • This method is normally used only in pregnancies not older than 3 months.
  • An instrument is inserted into the uterus through cervix and the inner lining of the uterus along with the implanted embryo is scraped in this method.
  • The embryo disintegrates and is suctioned out of the uterus.

Image result for abortion     Image result for abortion




Various artificial methods of family planning