Family Planning THE SUBJECT OF FAMILY PLANNING is one which is receiving almost universal attention in the world today. In many countries where the birth rate is low the subject is of vital importance to the nation in order that the population may be maintained or increased, and in other countries where the birth rate is very high, it is important to the economy of the nation because a balance must be maintained between the birth rate and the ability of the arable land of the country to support its population.
Many wars in history have been caused by over-population. Most of the political unrest which results in revolutions is brought about either directly or indirectly as the result of population problems. The matter of family planning is not only important on the national level but also on the family level. Here it affects most vitally the individual members of society which make up the nation Studies made in recent years indicate that the majority of the criminal class and a surprisingly large percentage of juvenile delinquents come from families which are unusually are at least too large for the patents to be able to care properly for their offspring. This fact should bring very forcibly to the attention of every married person the conviction that it is necessary for him to use his or her best judgment and self-control to plan the family in such a way that the children who are brought into the world will be a blessing rather than a curse to civilization. It is universally recognized that there are two great powers at work among mankind. We may call them the power of good and the power of evil, or we may call them the power of God and the power of the devil. whatever term we give to these two powers, it is universally recognized that they do exist and that the one is diametrically opposed to the other. Those who think realize that when a man and a woman bring more children into this world than they are capable of properly feeding, properly clothing, properly educating, and guiding into responsible and profitable maturity, they are actually swelling the ranks of those who make up the army of the evil one. There are a great many men and women, more than the average person realizes, who would greatly desire to have children in their homes, but who for some reason unknown to themselves have found it impossible to have their homes gladdened by the presence of little ones. To them the problem of family planning assumes almost fantastic prop orations. An enormous amount of sorrow and untold heartaches result from this aspect of the problem, Contraception There is considerable opposition on the part of many to the idea of birth control by prevention of conception. With some this aversion stems from adherence to a particular theory or dogma. There are groups in the world which rely largely upon the normal increase of the population of their membership for their growth. Such organizations would oppose any attempts at lowering the birth rate. While the writer of this article do not wish to be offensives, they believe that a volume of this kind is not complete unless it gives some attention to the problem of family planning. This is done with a desire to be helpful to those whose homes have not been blessed with children and also to those who may wish for legitimate reasons to limit the size of their families. There are times When because of the health condition of the mother or the economical condition of the family, it becomes necessary to limit the number of children in the home. What course is open to such married couples who wish to control the number of their offspring and yet desire to have normal sexual relationship? To begin with, the SO-called "safe period"is really not safe, for studies have shown that conception can take place any time during the menstrual cycle. Many practise withdrawal but this is not recommended and is not safe for the partners. Its continuous use leads to congestion of the prostate in the male and nervousness in the wife. Douches will often prevent pregnancy but this is uncertain. Equally uncertain are suppositories. Some couples practise what is known as the rhythm method. There is no evidence that this is a dependable method of family planning. The best course to pursue is to have the wife fitted with a diaphragm. This effectively bars the spermatozoa from entering the cervix (lower portion of the womb). Along with the diaphragm a contraceptive jelly can be used which will kill the sperm. If this is not available the next best thing is the condom. This is made of thin rubber and fits over the penis. In cases where the family has three or more children already and feel this is all they can economically care for, the best procedure for preventing further pregnancies is to have the husband undergo a vasectomy. If this operation is performed by a competent physician, it provides a certain method for preventing future pregnancies. It is simply done and does not affect the potency of the man not does it interfere with his reactions. Furthermore, it is perfectly safe. If circumstances should arise later, causing the couple to desire more children, the vars can be reconnected. But if this is to be successful it must be done within five or six years after the vasectomy, and even then the likelihood of success is only 50% · Another way to prevent pregnancies is for the woman to have her Fallopian tubes tied. This is a simple procedure if it is done within two days after the delivery of a baby, It is not recommended after that time. If done later, it becomes a major operation, requiring a large opening of the abdomen. The Problem of Sterility While many families face the problems of too many children, others are perplexed by not being able to have any. This latter is one of the more difficult problems in medicine and efforts in solving it have not been too successful. There is, however, an orderly procedure for searching out the cause. First and foremost, the male is the easiest to rule in or out. A fresh specimen of his semen should be examined under a microscope to see if sperm are present, active, mobile and well-shaped. This takes only a few minutes. If everything is normal the wife should next be examined. This examination must be done by a well-qualified gynecologist, who will first examine the cervix to see if there is a mucous plug in the opening which might be preventing the entrance of the sperm. A check will also be made for possible fibrous obstruction;if such should be found, a dilation may be necessary. The uterus itself may be malformed ; but the most common problem is the obstruction of the tubes leading from the area of the ovaries, Whether this is causing the difficulty or not can be determined by injecting into the uterus a solution which throws a shadow under the X-ray. Should there be an obstruction, the fluid will get to it and go no farther. Should this occur the doctor can blow carbon dioxide through the tubes and possibly open them up. If this does not prove successful, there is no use considering surgery, for it will not be successful either. The only solution in such cases is for the couple to adopt a child. Having done this, many have learned to love their adopted child as though it were their own. Very frequently a marriage remains childless in spite of the fact that no medical problem seems to be involved. In such cases the couple should not lose hope. It is possible that even after several years their efforts to have a baby may be rewarded. They should keep in mind that the best time to effect a pregnancy is at the time of ovulation. To ascertain this time ask the wife to take her temperature every morning Just before the gets out of bed. most days it will, of course. be normal, about 98 to 98. 6 0 F ; but at the time the ovum has left the ovary it will 90 up to 99 to 99. 4°F. This, the couple can know, is the most favourable time and they should watch for it each month. It would be well for them to refrain for about a week before the expected ovulation period. It should be noticed also that theoretically the time in the menstrual cycle when pregnancy is most likely to occur is about 14 days after the last period. While this is the most favourable time, it has also been demonstrated that pregnancy may be effected at any time in the cycle. There is no "safe period"for those who do not wish to have more children. A soda douche before intercourse is good for those desiring children. A boric acid douche would have the opposite effect.
READ ALSO: PROBLEMS OF CHILD BIRTH.