Family planning is the concept or a program of limiting the size of families through the spacing or prevention of pregnancies. All sexually active adults must consider family planning issues. Family planning is not just about preventing pregnancy, but also about timing conception so that every baby is wanted and planned. The birth control method you choose must take into consideration personal preferences, habits and health concerns. Complete abstinence is the only method that prevents pregnancy 100 percent of the time, but most contraceptive methods have a very high success rate when practiced correctly.
- Birth control pills – Birth control pills contain hormones that prevent ovulation and cause changes in the cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus. There are two types of birth control pills: combination pills, which contain both estrogen and a progestin, and progestin-only pills, often called “mini-pills.” You must take one pill every day in order for the pill to be effective. The pill does not prevent or protect against sexually-transmitted diseases.
- Ring – The NuvaRing is a flexible, plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina. It remains in the vagina for 3 weeks and then is removed. A new ring is re-inserted 7 days later. Most women experience menstrual-like bleeding during the ring-free week. Like the birth control pill, the ring contains combination hormones that are absorbed through the vagina and into the bloodstream.
- Injectibles – DepoProvera is a progestin-only birth control option given as an intramuscular injection every 3 months.
- Implantables – Nexplanon is a progestin-only, long-term reversible contraceptive implants. A single medicated rod is placed under the skin on the inner aspect of the upper arm. The implant contains contraceptive efficacy for up to 3 years.
- Intrauterine Device – Mirena and Skyla are progestin-only, long-term reversible contraceptive devices. Mirena provides birth control for up to five years, and Skyla provides birth control for up to three years.
- Paragard is a hormone-free, long-term reversible contraceptive that lasts up to ten years.
- Permanent Sterilization – Essure, involves the placement of inserts into the fallopian tubes with the use of hysteroscopy. Over the next 3 months, your body forms a natural barrier around the Essure inserts that prevent sperm from reaching your eggs. During the 3-month period, you must continue using another form of birth control. A confirmation test, HSG, demonstrates that the inserts are placed correctly, your fallopian tubes are blocked, and pregnancy is permanently prevented.
- Bilateral Tubal Ligation. A (BTL) is a surgical procedure that involves blocking the fallopian tubes to prevent the ovum (egg) from being fertilized. It can be done by cutting, burning or removing sections of the fallopian tubes or by placing clips on each tube.