1 minute read

Family Planning - Methods And Effectiveness, Social Regulation, Infertility, Conclusion

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & Parenthood


Family planning is both a descriptive term and an organizational one. It was originally conceived as a public relations effort to emphasize the broadened scope of those involved in the struggle to spread the concept of birth control. The term achieved popularity in England before it did in the United States, and in May 1939, various British birth control groups amalgamated into the Family Planning Association, including in their program treatment for infertility and minor gynecological problems, child spacing, and contraceptive instruction and equipment. In the United States the name of the American Birth Control League was changed to the Planned Parenthood Federation in 1941 to emphasize the broad focus of family planning. The Planned Parenthood name was also adopted by the international federation that formed after the end of World War II, and family planning or planned parenthood became universal descriptors.


Broadly defined, family planning is the act of making a conscious plan about the number and timing of children's births. Timing may include the time of the first birth, the amount of space between births, and when to stop having children. It can include abortion, a discussion of the various means of contraception, and fertility testing and even treatment. Family planning involves not only the individual or couple, but society as well.


Additional topics