Adults, who are sexually active, regardless of age and race should be aware of family planning options. The World Health Organization, for one, does not confine family planning as a pregnancy prevention method alone. According to them, it is about planned conception and making sure that each newborn is wanted.
Family planning makes use of birth control techniques to primarily decide the number of offspring a family will have and the best time to have each one. The decision of which birth control method to use is often based on health concerns, habits, and vital personal preferences like religion. While only abstinence assures complete pregnancy prevention, most contraceptive methods are highly effective especially when correctly practiced.
Birth control pills are oral contraceptives that must be taken daily. The method is often recommended for both women who are religious in remembering daily doses and those who desire to restore fertility quickly.
Aside from its birth control properties, the pill also has health benefits. Both progestin-only and combination pills lighten periods, reduce the intensity of menstrual cramps, and lessen the possibility of ectopic pregnancies. The combination pill specifically helps prevent bone thinning, acne, ovarian cysts and cancers, breast cysts, endometrial cancers, infections in the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, anemia, PMS, and iron deficiency. Women on the pill can get pregnant immediately after stopping it- one of the reasons why most women prefer the method. Also, taking the pill is made easier to remember with easy to bring small pill packs.
The most popular thing that women don’t like about birth control pills is the daily routine of taking it. The use of alarms and reminder apps or pill pack just next to you may help in remembering, but not a complete assurance. Also, like other medications, pills have their own set of side effects. While they usually go away after a couple of months, most women on pills experience changes in sexual desire, bleeding between periods, nausea, and sore breasts.
Diaphragms, female and male condoms, as well as cervical caps all belong to the barrier family planning methods. Basically, they work in preventing the sperm from getting close or in contact to the egg. For the methods to be effective, these must be anchored before the actual copulation takes place. While thousands do not like the methods because somehow it inhibits spontaneity, barriers prevent the spread of diseases as well as promote sharing of birth control responsibilities.
Barrier methods are simple to use, widely available and must be used before intercourse only. They protect both parties from possible spread of sexually transmitted diseases and, often, are not contraindicated against most allergies. Female condoms, specifically, are unlikely to tear even during the roughest sexual techniques and can be inserted many hours before the sexual intercourse.
It is extremely rare to use the male condoms perfectly as they are easily torn apart. Also, frequent users report reduced arousal during sexual intercourse with the use of it. Female condoms, on the other hand, is easily dislodged and may result to the penis inserting between the vaginal wall and the condom instead. There were circumstances where women report a “noisy” method experience during the intercourse.
For individuals who would want to get pregnant in the future, but are not into regularly prepping up against contraception, long-term methods are the best tools to use. The methods include vaginal ring, contraceptive shots, intrauterine device or IUD, and implantable rod. All these are not easily reversible and non-hormonal. However, fertility immediately returns when the woman decides to discontinue its use.
The long-term effect of not having to remember daily routines is the biggest advantage of using these methods. It is extremely effective in preventing pregnancy although a few methods halt menstrual periods.
The long-term contraceptive methods do not protect either of the parties from contacting sexually transmitted infections. Also, most of these methods require surgeries for both the insertion procedure and the removal of it. While there are rare instances of infections in areas of tool implantation, the most common side effects include weight gain, nervousness, irregular menstrual periods, hair loss, and episodes of depression. Most importantly, it is not for use of all women. Those with maintenance medications are discouraged from using any of the long-term contraceptive methods.
NFP is the sole option that produces no negative health impact and is completely free. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explained that NFP only necessitates full awareness of a woman’s body's cycles especially when she is the most fertile. When the main goal of copulation is to produce pregnancy, intercourse during the fertile times is the way to do it. However, if it is for avoiding pregnancy, the practice of abstinence during periods of fertility should be done.
The healthiest fertility regulation method, natural family planning neither interferes with the menstrual cycle nor make use of chemicals and hormones that pollute the environment. NFP is also easy to use and familiarize and is highly effective amongst women regardless of a woman’s stage of reproductive life. Both culture and religion permit the use of natural family planning because of its moral principles, while constantly promoting better couple communication.
The primary disadvantage is abstinence when a woman’s biology is the most interested in being intimate. For most couples, it requires a huge lifestyle change. Also, the practice of NFP needs training from a healthcare professional to establish the unique physiology of a woman’s cycle.
Maternal health is one of the biggest factors why effective family planning campaign is being pushed worldwide. It revolves around the holistic condition of a woman from pregnancy through recovering after giving birth. While it is true that motherhood is a fulfilling and positive journey, millions of women associate the experience with medical complications, emotional suffering, and death. When women are given the chance to space their pregnancies and limit it through their personal choice of contraceptive method, they are also given the right to a healthy well-being and pleasant motherhood.