CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION: Controlling human fertility has been a subject that has been throughout history interest, demographer, population planners, couples and individuals. Historical development of man’s desire to control his reproduction is as old as humanity. Egyptians as early as 1850BC described various methods of birth control in scroll.

        In the early history of African culture, the mother and the infant were separated from the father for prolonged period for the infant and abstinence for the mother. Thus family planning is as old as history itself. (Kippley, 1996).


        The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of family planning is as way of thinking and living that is adopted voluntary upon the basis of knowledge, attitude and responsible decisions by individual and couples in order to promote health and welfare of the family group and thus contribute effectively to the social development of the country. (WHO, 1994).

        Family planning also help childless couples to explore their fertility period to achieve their wanted pregnancy.


  • To explain how each family planning methods prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • To increase knowledge, attitude and skill in contraceptive technology and the need for safe and appropriate family planning services.
  • Provide information to public interested in using family planning.


  1. Decrease in maternal mortality: Family planning offers a mother the opportunity to have a smaller family which result in better ability to provide adequate nutrition for herself and her family.
  2. Decreases in infant mortality: spacing prevents depletion of maternal nutritional status, which can decrease the incidence of premature birth and death. (Riddle, 1999).
  3. Decrease in complications of pregnancy and delivery.
  4. Reduction in party will lead to decrease in complication like pre-eclampsia and pre and post partum hemorrhage.
  5. Decrease pregnancy related stress as well as emotional and physical stress.
  6. Decrease in adolescent pregnancy will result in decrease complication such as birth defect and difficult child birth.
  7.  Prevent or reduce the incidence of genetic disease.

4.   Socio-economic benefit.

  1. It gives the couples the opportunity to decide when they will plan for another baby, this emphasized the freedom of choice.
  2. It decreases unwanted pregnancies.
  3. It increases educational potential.
  4. It improves intellectual development.
  5. It increases financial potential for family.
  6. Improve job opportunity.
  7. Improve women’s economic and social status.
  8. It improves land inheritance.
  9. It improves the quality of life for the people of the community e.g. community will be better able to provide adequate housing, education, health facility, transport, employment and food supply.
  10. Overall benefit to the national is the sum of all the benefit to the individual families and communities e.g help government provides adequate food, healthcare, education, employment and water supply.


        A Greek philosopher in the 4th century B.C. stated that the states best interest will be served by keeping the population stable.

        In 1797 Jeremy Bentham advocated Birth control in England in 1882 Francis place publish the proof and principles of population and propose contraception to curb reproduction. (Riddle, 1999).

        In 1881, Dr. Aletta Jacobs in Holland began first systematic work on contraception.

        In 1921 the first birth control clinic was opened in England by Marie Stopes and society for constructive birth control was founded.

        In 1912, Margaret Sanger in USA was called out to see truck driver’s wife in New York who just committed an abortion. The woman was raised back to health and warned that another abortion would kill her. (Thomas, 1988).

        In 1914 she was called again to see the same woman who has committed another abortion but she died before sanger could arrive. This incidence made Sanger concerned about the suffering of women, with unwanted and abandon children.  

        In 1916, M. Sanger opens first family planning clinic which was closed 9 days later by the authorities which were against family planning. Sanger and her sister was imprisoned. She went on hunger strike 103 hours.

        This led to the US women demonstration and makes an appeal to the government. M. sanger was released and allowed to carry on with pioneering work in family planning.

        In 1920, M. Sanger single handedly founded the first family planning clinic in USA.

        In 1952, International planned parenthood Federation (IPPF) comprising 32 countries was founded.