From the moment your body goes through the stages of puberty and sexual maturity, the decision to get involved in relations, casual or otherwise, always carries the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the possibility of pregnancy.
While the population of women having unintended pregnancies is on the decline, the highest number of those still struggling with it are in their late teens, at the poverty level, haven’t completed high school, and aren’t married.
Having a child is a major step, and when you start that journey, you should be prepared for the challenges and changes that await. Family planning is a way to be informed about how to avoid getting pregnant until you’re ready, and to learn what to do when you are ready to start a family.
To help you further understand the benefits of family planning, let’s explore more about what it is and what it can do to make your life easier.
Family planning is best described as a way for couples to determine the number of children they want, and the ability to space out those births at their convenience. This provides access to birth control options, reduces the spread of STDs, and helps you get started when you’re ready to have children.
Raising children takes a lot of time, effort, and emotional maturity, so having control over whether you have them or not is essential.
Determining when you decide to have children means access to contraception, which works by preventing the sperm from fertilizing the eggs. This is done in several ways, including keeping the sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing the ovaries from producing eggs, and keeping the eggs from implanting in the uterine lining. Several methods of birth control are available:
This is a very common method that keeps sperm from entering the uterus as well as preventing STDs, and includes condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and the withdrawal method (pulling out before orgasm).
There are a range of medications and devices that can either prevent ovulation or change the conditions in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Short-acting methods include birth control pills, birth control shots, and vaginal rings, and long-acting methods include birth control implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
This is the option if you’re certain you don’t want to have kids, or you want to stop having them, and includes methods like vasectomy and tubal ligation.
Also known as natural family planning or the rhythm method, it tracks the female partner’s menstrual cycle to determine when she ovulates to know when to have sex and when to avoid it.
This is essentially having a backup plan when other methods fail, such as using the barrier method if hormonal methods aren’t working or can’t be used.
Not having sex is a pretty effective way to avoid pregnancy and STDs, and can be used during ovulation or when one partner may be dealing with an infection.
When you’re ready to have children, many of these methods are reversible and can allow you to try having a child a short time after. We offer family planning for whatever you need, whether you’re having a baby or you’re choosing to prevent it.
When you’re ready to see how we can help you with planning for a family, make an appointment with the team at Michigan Avenue Primary Care. Call our office or schedule your visit online anytime.