What is Family Planning?
A program to regulate the number and spacing of children in a family through the practice of contraception or other methods of birth control.Family planning is the voluntary planning and action taken by individuals to prevent, delay or achieve a pregnancy. Family planning services include counseling and education, preconception care, screening and laboratory tests, and family planning methods. Family planning methods include abstinence, natural family planning and all FDA approved methods of contraception including hormonal contraception and contraceptive supplies such as condoms, diaphragms and intrauterine devices. Natural Family Planning
Many couples choose natural family planning as a way to prevent pregnancy. This method studies the woman's ovulation cycle to determine when pregnancy is likely or unlikely to occur. This method takes dedication. A woman must check the consistency of her cervical mucous before having sex, and also keep tabs on her temperature, which will rise during ovulation. The method also prohibits sexual intercourse during ovulation. Pros and cons of natural family planning
1. most women can use them, providing they are properly trained by a teacher in fertility awareness and keep accurate records 2. you do not need any further help from a healthcare provider once you have learnt how to use them 3. they can be used to avoid pregnancy or to become pregnant, according to your wishes 4. they do not involve chemicals or physical products, so there are no adverse side effects 5. they can help you recognise normal and abnormal vaginal secretions, so you are aware of any sexually transmitted infection 6. they are acceptable to all faiths and cultures
7. they involve your partner in the process which can often help increase feelings of intimacy and trust 8. they are immediately reversible - as soon as you stop using the methods, you can get pregnant (unlike the contraceptive injection, where your fertility can take a while to return) Disadvantages:
1. they are much less effective in real world setting compared to other types of birth control; as many as 1 in 4 women using them will conceive within one year 2. they will not work without the continuing commitment and cooperation of both yourself and your partner 3. to be most effective you will need to be taught by someone trained in natural family planning 4. it can take several menstrual cycles before you can become confident in identifying your fertile time – this can be 2-3 cycles for measuring body temperature and monitoring your cervix and up to six cycles for using the calendar method - during this time you will have to use barrier contraception 5. it is not suitable if you have persistent irregular periods. 6. you will need to keep daily record of your fertility signs 7. factors such as stress, illness, travel, lifestyle and use of hormonal treatments can disrupt your fertility signs. This includes oral emergency contraception, if you use this you will need to wait for 2 complete cycles before relying on NFP again. 8. during your fertile time you will either need to abstain from sex or use a barrier method of contraception 9. if you do decide to abstain it can sometimes be up to 16 days during which you cannot have sex – this can sometimes cause problems in a relationship Facts About Family Planning Methods
Many family planning methods are available, including contraceptive pills, condoms, intrauterine devices, diaphragms, contraceptive patches and contraceptive vaginal rings. With so many choices available, making an informed choice can be daunting. Do your homework, learn the benefits and drawbacks of each method and then decide which method meets your needs. Oral Contraceptive
More commonly known as "the pill," oral contraceptives have been widely available since the 1960s. Oral contraceptives most commonly use hormones such as progestin and estrogen. These hormones work in concert to...
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