Debunking those myths on family planning

December 26, 2012 • Family Planning, Reproductive Health, Daily Email Recap

Debunking those myths on family planning


Cancer. Deformed babies. Damaged wombs. These are just some of the fears that many Kenyan women associate with family planning.

Fifty countries, Kenya included, look like they might miss the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2015 deadline, especially those on cutting the mortality rates of young children and mothers.

Reproductive health experts say that the achievement of all eight goals is closely linked to family planning policies and their effective implementation.

A recent reproductive health study showed that myths and misconceptions about family planning are widespread, with close to 80 per cent of the women surveyed believing that family planning leads to health problems.

The World Health Organisation defines family planning as the practice that helps individuals or couples to attain certain objectives such as avoiding unwanted pregnancies, regulating the interval between pregnancies, controlling the time at which birth occurs in relation to the ages of the parents and determining the number of children in the family.

Two reports, 2010 Urban Reproductive Health Household Report and the 2010 Kenya Urban Household Service Delivery Report, launched earlier this year, captured some of the concerns of urbanisation, including overstretched health service provision, poor access to reproductive health services and a high incidence of early sexual activity amongst the urban poor.

Under pressure

However, top on the list were findings on how fast rumours on family planning spread.

Of concern, the health report cited, is that every four out of five women surveyed believe that users of family planning end up with health problems like cancer, deformed babies, womb problems and even infertility.

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