5 Ways to Actively Include Men in Family Planning Discussions

Family planning refers to use of modern contraceptives or natural techniques to limit or space pregnancies. Modern methods of contraception include the pill, female and male sterilization, IUD, injectables, implants, male and female condom, diaphragm, and emergency contraception. Traditional methods include periodic abstinence, withdrawal and folk methods.

Reason for not using contraception

Preferred method of contraception for future use

Heard family planning on radio and television or in a newspaper or magazine

Acceptability of media messages on family planning

Contact of non-users with family planning providersP

lanning is being used

Was family planning use mainly the woman's/the husband/partner's or a joint decision

Informed choice of family planning methods

Unmet need for family planning Spotting between periods. Breakthrough bleeding, or spotting, refers to when vaginal bleeding occurs between menstrual cycles.

What is male involvement in family planning?

Male Involvement through spousal communication and approval about family Planning. In the current study, nearly 60.0% of men were involved in family planning through spousal communication and approval. Among all respondents, more than half (54.0%) of men have never discussed FP with their partner.

Why is male involvement in family planning important?

Male engagement in family planning (FP) is a subset of male engagement in reproductive health. Gender experts agree that men should be encouraged to be supportive partners of women's reproductive health while also meeting their own reproductive health needs, and engaged as agents of change in families and communities. Men are also recognized to be responsible for the large proportion of ill reproductive health suffered by their female partners. Male involvement helps not only in accepting a contraceptive but also in its effective use and continuation.

Step 1: Define the behavioral aim of your initiative.

Common behavioral aims of male engagement programming include increased male participation as:

Contraceptive users (e.g., condoms and vasectomy) or as partners using methods requiring active cooperation (e.g., Standard Days Method)

Partners engaged in open communication and decision-making about family planning and contraceptives

Advocates for gender equality and family planning in their families and communities

Step 2: Assess mens and boys knowledge and attitudes related to reproduction and contraception.

Knowledge of individual methods, how they work, and their side effects. Ideal family size. Beliefs about how contraception affects health, work, and future fertility

Knowledge of, preferences for, and perceptions of family planning services, for example:

3: Assess how gender norms affect male engagement in family planning.

Men play an important role in challenging inequitable gender norms and fostering positive norms, particularly among their peers and with their children. Failure to address issues such as womens subservient social status, economic dependence on men and limited agency, household power dynamics, and harmful masculine norms are common reasons that investments in family planning service delivery fail to achieve expected results.

4. Identify programming approaches that engage men and boys.

After clarifying the relevant norms, identify the people whose opinions matter to men and may influence those particular behaviors. Such individuals could include community leaders, parents/in-laws, religious leaders, health care providers, or positive deviants (i.e., those already practicing the desired behavior). Also, identify the sources and locations where men and boys prefer to receive sexual and reproductive health information and services.

5. Social and behavior change category

consider integrating information sharing and discussions into traditionally male spaces such as agricultural projects or development committees.