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This study was undertaken to examine the choice of family planning among women attending primary health care centres in Esan West local government area.  The study was limited to Esan West Local Government Area of Edo state. Questionnaires were designed to elicit information which served as the basis for assessment of the various research questions of the study. The population of the study comprised of women attending antenatal care in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. The sample for the study was 145 subjects (or respondents). The simple random sampling technique was used to select the sample for the study. Research results were analyzed using tables, frequency counts, percentages and mean score. The study found that: Level of education was seen as one of the social-cultural factors, influencing the choice of family planning. The custom of the people is also another factor affecting their use of family planning, Religion is also seen as one of the strongest factor affecting the use of family planning, prohibits the use of modern contraceptive methods. The social class of the individuals or couples was also found to be another factor affecting the both the use and the type of family planning favored by a couple. In the quest to promoting health among women and in the selection of best strategies/practices the researcher makes the following recommendations: There should be constant periodic health campaigns in communities and not once in a decade. There should be a tight supervision of the effectiveness of antenatal care centre sib their operation. There should be formulation and proper implementation of good health policies and a constant evaluation of same. Government should create a platform were the poor gets equal or easier access to health care compares to the rich; this will cater for the economic constraints associated with adopting health strategies. Cultural biases against health care should be discouraged or even prohibited by the government.







Title Page-       -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           i

Certification-               -           -           -           -           -           -           -           iii

Dedication-     -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           iv

Acknowledgement-                -           -           -           -           -           -           v

Abstract-         -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           viii


Background to the Study-                  -           -           -           -           -           1

Statement of problem-            -           -                       -           -           -           -           7

Purpose of the Study- -           -           -                       -           -           -           7

Research Questions-   -           -           -           -                       -           -           8

Scope of the Study-    -           -           -           -           -                       -           8

Limitation of the Study -                    -           -           -           -           -           9

Significance of the Study       -           -           -           -           -           -           9

Definition of Terms-   -           -           -           -           -           -           -           9


Concept of Family Planning-  -           -           -           -           -           -           10

Methods of Family Planning- -           -           -           -           -           -           12

Benefits of Family Planning-  -           -           -           -           -           -           14

Socio-Cultural Factors Influencing the Utilization of Family Planning         16

Family Planning and Human Rights-  -           -           -           -           -           22

Family Planning in Developing Countries-     -           -           -           -           24

Family Planning in Developed Countries-      -           -           -           -           25

Summary of literature review-            -           -           -           -           -          



Research Design of the study -           -           -           -           -           -           29

Population of the study-         -           -           -           -           -           -           29

Sample and Sampling Technique-       -           -           -           -           -           30       

Research Instrument-  -           -           -           -           -           -           -           30       

Validity -         -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           30       

Reliability Method of Data Collection -         -           -           -           -           31

Method of Data analysis -      -           -           -           -           -           -           31      



Discussion of Findings -                     -           -           -           -           -           32       


Summary         -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           39

Conclusion-     -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           40       

Recommendations -    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           40       

REFERENCES-         -           -           -           -           -           -           -           41                       

Appendix-       -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           43







1.1 Background to the Study

Family planning is the “intentional prevention of conception through the use of various devices, sexual practices, chemicals, drugs, or surgical procedures” (en.wikipedia.com, 2021). The concept of family planning is used interchangeably with contraceptives. There are many different types of family planning methods which have so far been developed for the purpose of preventing conception. The current methods in existence have been categorized in to five groups.

1.      We have “hormonal methods” which are currently being regarded as the most common methods of birth control (Sai, 2013). Hormonal methods which appear in the form of Birth control pill, Depo-provera, Lunelle, Vaginal ring all contain manufactured forms of the hormones oestrogen and Progesterone. All the different types containing the mentioned hormones work in three ways;

i.                    Firstly by preventing woman’s ovaries from releasing an egg each month;

ii.                  Secondly by causing the cervical mucus to thicken making it hard for sperm to reach and penetrate the egg.

iii.                Lastly by thinning the lining of the uterus which reduces the likelihood that a fertilized egg will implant in the uterine wall (Williamson, Parkes, Wight, Petticre, and Hart, 2009).  

2.      The second category of birth control methods is “barrier methods”. These family planning methods work by physically preventing sperm from entering the female reproductive system. These devices include Male condom, Female condom, Spermicides, Diaphragm, Cervical cap and Contraceptive sponge.

3.      The third category of birth control method is “withdrawal” and “sterilization”. Withdrawal involves the removal of the erect penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation; on the other hand, sterilization involves the surgical closing, tying or blocking of the fallopian tube so eggs cannot travel through the uterus. There also exists male sterilization which is the surgical closing of tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis.   

4.      The forth category of birth control methods is abstinence. As a means of conception, abstinence is the voluntary refraining from sexual intercourse. This method is regarded as the only family planning method that is 100% effective in the prevention of both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

5.      The last category of birth control methods is the fertility awareness method which is often called “natural family planning”. Apart from abstinence and withdrawal method, this is the third method that does not rely on devices or medication to prevent pregnancy. The natural family planning method uses the natural functions of the female body and menstrual cycle to calculate ovulation. It requires abstinence from sexual intercourse during the ovulation period. (Williamson, Parkes. Wight, Petticre and Hart , 2009).

According to Gribble and Haffey, (2008) Demographers regard withdrawal and abstinence as traditional methods while the other methods are regarded as modern methods of contraception. The vast majority of the African countries and national governments encourage citizens to make use of available family planning methods to promote small family sizes and prevent unwanted pregnancies. All these come as an overall initiative to slow population growth and avoid some of the consequences of population growth.  A combination of good access to family planning services and increased family planning use has led to a decline in fertility rates in many developed and developing countries. Access to quality, voluntary family planning services and increasingly higher levels of family planning awareness are credited for supporting declines in family sizes. For fertility to fall to low levels, many factors are key, this include a significant increase in the use of family planning. Sufficient evidence exist to show that the high fertility in Africa as a continent is not because women in Africa want to have more children than women in other regions; the skewed rates reflects the prevalence of family planning use as well as challenges in accessing family planning services in this particular region. Clearly most people in developed countries want and are having smaller families than in the past. This development has been greatly helped by the wider availability of quality, safe and affordable family planning services in some regions. However the opposite is observed in some other regions such as Africa; many people are still having more children than they want (Gribble, Haffey and James 2011).

The WHO, (2008) estimates indicated that sub-Saharan Africa had about 14 million unintended pregnancies, with almost half occurring among women aged 15-25 years. Today, there are 24.8 percent of women who want to use family planning but lack access leaving them with no other options but to continue having unwanted pregnancies. According to the Millennium Development Goals report, one in four women who wish to delay or stop child bearing is not using any family planning method. Achieving the desired population growth rates will require expanded access to family planning especially in the poorer countries. People regardless of their age must have access to a wide range of family planning methods at all stages of their reproductive lives (WHO, 2000). The impact access to family planning has on the rate of fertility in Nigeria is of vital importance. It therefore requires urgent attention from national governments.  Family planning has been a common problem with the developing countries in the world. Due to lack of family planning the population of the developing countries, using Nigeria as a typical example when unchecked, increases geometrically. The lack of family planning which led to an increase in Nigeria population is as a result of lack of women education, poverty etc. It is a common observation to everybody that what we often say is a blessing could turn to be a curse as in the case of the increasing population of a country. The only way this can be prevented is through the use of birth control or family planning and this is one of the major way in which Nigeria population can be reduced. One question that always comes to mind is that if fertility is not controlled and it grows beyond its carrying capacity, then there will be a huge problem in population control, as we all know over population is a problem to a country especially the developing countries. It is important to know that whatsoever happens in any society always begin from the family. However, another question that can really come to mind is this. What is family planning? Though many authors have defined it in various ways, Family planning is defined as a process whereby parents or couples have their children by choice and not by chance by this we mean that couples can control the number of children they want and when they want them (Online Journal of Community Health, 2014).

Although more people use family planning now than ever before, more than half of the couples in the developing countries use family planning today compared with 10% in the 1960s. This dramatic increase in family planning use has caused fertility to decline much more rapidly in the developing countries and if this is achieved it can lead to the attainment of optimal population which is the best type of population(Richards, 2012).

The primary care system in Nigeria came to provide package such as immunization, micro-nutrient support, family planning counselling, pre-natal and post-natal care, health education and basic curative care (The family manager 2013). Various governments have tried to implement policies aimed at reducing the population growth through family planning programs. A better access to good quality reproductive health service particularly family planning is the key to improving health status, especially for women.

            In Africa 18 percent of women use modern contraceptive as a family planning method and those women begin childbearing in their teens and have an average of six children or more which has led to a high birth rate. In Nigeria, where family planning is receiving government support, various agencies have been saddled with the responsibility of promoting and educating the people concerning its use. The Planned Parenthood federation is one agency, also family planning clinics have been set up in hospitals to encourage people to plan their families, and avoid unwanted pregnancies bearing only the number of children they can adequately catered for (UNICEF, 2017). 

            Rosen and Conly (2014) stated we see the need, through family planning, to prevent the health risk of frequent child bearing, and also to reduce the high toll of illness and death associated with pregnancy and child birth and to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) including HIV/AIDS. We must explicitly state that despite various efforts made by the Nigeria government to discourage high fertility or birth increase through the use of contraceptive, awareness campaigns, and prolonged breastfeeding by mother’s etc. popular growth rate is still rising.

            The research would try to ascertain how the social-cultural factors (such as norms, values, education, religion, social-class, custom) are affecting the use of family planning in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. Family planning has different meaning to people, to some, it is a method of giving birth to children by choice and not by chance, to health workers, it is the spacing of children. It can also be having only as many children as one can provide for, so that one can give the children proper care, enough food and opportunities for a happy life. The methods of family planning used are; Traditional methods (through calendar, rhythm, withdrawal and abstinence) folk methods (such as pills, condoms, vaginal methods, injection, inter-uterine, contraceptive devices (IUD), female sterilization, spermicide, impacts diaphragm etc. family planning and disease such as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Family planning services must also include access to long acting clinical method.

            In Nigeria, the trend of marrying many wives and having many children is still high despite the reduction in child mortality made possible by improvement in modern health care system. At the end of the research, we should know the concept of family planning, and the various choices of family planning practicable in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State.

            It was against the background of the projected world population growth especially in the developing countries and considering the consequences associated with current patterns of population control measure. In Africa, not all governments considered rapid population growth to constitute a problem to development. However, those countries that considered a rapid rise in their population as a major obstacle to development attempted to reduce the growth rate, countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Gambia adopted policies and programmes towards fertility and birth control in the countries.

            Donald, light and Keller (2013), argued that three out of the very four married couples using contraceptive favored the most effective methods, the pills the IUD and the sterilization. Sterilization is the most popular method for couples who have been married for ten years or longer. The increasing use of sterilization as a form of contraceptive is an indication that couples are more willing to accept the irreversibility of the decision to terminate childbearing.

            Despite the availability of these contraceptive, population is still increasing people still feel that having large families is better, especially in the rural areas. However, educating the people on how to use family planning methods would make them more susceptible to its use which would invariably check population increase.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Over a long period of time the issue of family planning has been neglected because so many believe that children are blessings from God and children are to be given birth by chance and not by choice which is the opposite of family planning and this has an effect on Nigeria’s population. Observably in Esan West communities, nuclear families are made up of, minimum, Six (6) members. Uncontrolled proliferation is an immortalized trend. Parents continue to give birth to children even though they are struggling to feed the ones they already have. Not to mention clothing and giving them quality education. The researcher is of the opinion that the factors responsible for this tendency are, most likely than not, socio-cultural. Hence this research work is carried out to examine the choice of family planning in Esan West Local Government Area.


1.2 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the choice of family planning among women attending primary health care centers in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. The objectives of this study are as follows; 

Ø  To examine the factors influencing the choice of family planning in Esan West Local Government Area.

Ø  To examine the factors responsible for the ineffectiveness of family planning in Esan West Local Government Area.

Ø  To examine the problem facing the development of family planning in Esan West Local Government Area.                       

Ø  This research work is also designed to suggest workable solution to the problem of family planning in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State.

1.3 Research Question

Ø  What are the factors influencing the choice of family planning among women in Esan West Local Government Area?

Ø  Does social class influence the use of family planning?

Ø  How does education influence the use of family planning?

Ø  Do societal norms/values influence the use of family planning?

1.5 Significance of the Study

It is expected that this study will make the following contributions;

·         It will provide necessary information and create awareness on the extent of utilization of family planning in Esan West Local Government Area.

·         It is expected that this study will shed light on the factors responsible for the lack and inefficient utilization of family planning among families in Esan West.

·         The study is also expected to proffer solutions to these factors hindering the utilization of family planning among families in Esan communities and in Edo state as a whole.

·         It brings to the awareness of women the different types of family planning methods.

1.6 Scope of the Study

            This research work is limited to Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State; it is to examine the different methods of family planning available in Esan West.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The researcher expects to encounter certain problems/challenges in the course of the study such as failure of respondents to return all administered questionnaires, irregular completion of questionnaires.  

1.8 Definition of Terms

HIV: Human Immune Deficiency Virus: This is a virus that causes AIDS.

AIDS- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: This is a disease caused by HIV which paralyzes all the immune system in the body.

Birth rate: The number of births per number of women between the age of fifteen and forty-nine. 

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