Baby girl, let’s talk about the different methods of family planning.
When you hear of family planning, what comes to your mind?
Family planning is the same thing as making decisions about child spacing and the number of children you want to have.
I have written extensively on how to determine the ideal child spacing between your children.
But in this article, we will focus on “Family Planning, or birth control methods, or contraception.”
I will use these words interchangeably so, let’s get started.
What is family planning?
Family planning is the practice of controlling the number of children you have.
It also deals with the intervals between childbirths, primarily through contraception or voluntary sterilisation.
Family planning is essential because it helps you and your spouse decide whether you want to have children, and if so, how many and when.
While you may want to take a break after childbirth and rest for a while before trying again…
Some moms have just had their last babies and are done having children.
Some of these women are not even the age of menopause yet.
So, how will they prevent future pregnancies?
That is what family planning is all about.
If you want to do the same thing to control childbirth, there are different family planning methods to apply.
We can further group the different family planning methods under hormonal and non-hormonal methods.
Let’s see them differently…
Hormonal methods of family planning (birth control or contraception)
The hormonal family planning method is a type of birth control that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy.
Hormonal contraceptives contain estrogen and progesterone, or progesterone only.
Here are some examples of hormonal contraceptives.
1. The pills (oral contraceptives):
These are tablets that a family planning nurse prescribes.
The pill is usually taken every day for 21 or 28 days, depending on who the manufacturers are.
The 21-pill pack has 21 “on” days and no pills for the 7 “off” days that follow.
The 28-pill pack has active pills for the first 21 “on” days and seven inactive (placebo) or reminder pills for the following 7 “off” days.
The pill has two types;
i. The combination pill:
This pill contains the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
When you use this pill, the eggs in your ovaries do not mature, and you do not ovulate.
As a result, you can’t become pregnant because no egg is available to be fertilised by a sperm.
ii. The mini-pill:
This pill is mostly for breastfeeding moms at six weeks postnatal visit to the clinic.
Because it has no side effects on the breastfed babies, you can take this pill every day.
Read this next:
17 Major Body Changes to Expect During Pregnancy
2. Contraceptive injection:
This is another hormonal form of contraceptive.
Usually, injections are over 99% effective if you receive them according to the correct schedule (once in 3 months).
If you are using injection contraceptives, you are at the advantage of getting pregnant later if you desire.
So, when you desire to have babies, you can simply discontinue taking the injection.
3. Contraceptive patch:
This is another form of hormonal contraceptive.
It’s an adhesive patch that is about 5 cm by 5 cm in size and very thin.
It is usually inserted in the buttocks, belly, outsider part of the upper arm or anywhere on the upper body – except for the breasts.
The patch contains progesterone and estrogen.
But unlike the pills, the hormones in the patch don’t get into the blood through the digestive system.
Instead, it is absorbed by the skin into the blood.
After using the patch for one week, you need to change it.
Bathing, swimming and other water activities do not affect the patch, but you must not allow it to make contact with your clothes.
4. The Vaginal Ring:
This is a 5cm diameter ring inserted deep into the vagina.
It is inserted in the vaginal because it is a soft and flexible material.
Just like the pill and patch, it contains progesterone and estrogen hormones.
The ring is placed inside of the vaginal, the hormones enter into the bloodstream through the walls of the vagina.
The ring will remain in there, and you have to replace it every three weeks to prevent pregnancy reliably.
If you place the ring at 3 pm on Sunday, you should remove it at 3 pm on Sunday three weeks after.
You need to know this:
Linea Nigra: What is That Line on Your Stomach During Pregnancy
5. Hormone releasing coils:
This is a T shaped plastic material with a string at the end used to pull it out.
The coil contains and continuously releases the hormone levonorgestrel into the bloodstream.
The lining of the womb absorbs this hormone to prevent pregnancy.
6. Hormonal Under skin implant:
Implants look like small rods and are implanted under the skin every three years. A doctor does this.
Most Hormonal contraceptives work by stopping ovulation and stopping the womb’s lining from building up.
This means that any fertilised eggs aren’t able to become embedded in the lining of the womb.
It also makes the mucus in the cervix (opening of the womb) thicker and stickier, preventing sperm from getting into the womb.
There are many questions about hormonal contraceptives; my advice to you is whatever choice you want to take, consult with your doctor.
And if you have any hormonal issues, stay clear from hormonal contraceptives.
Note that all the above methods of family planning prevent pregnancy but not Sexually Transmitted Infection.
Non-hormonal types of birth control
Non-hormonal birth control aims to prevent pregnancy without changing the balance of hormones in the body.
Some Non-hormonal contraceptives are;
1. Copper T IUD:
This is a T shaped plastic material that emits a small quantity of copper that inhibits the movement of sperm into the cervix.
It’s wholly non-hormonal and can last for ten years if adequately inserted by a Doctor.
This form of birth control is permanent, not easily reversible and can only be done via surgery.
For women, the surgical procedure is tubal ligation, and for men, vasectomy surgery.
This provides permanent sterilisation, which means once done, no going back take note.
3. Male and Female Condoms:
Condoms are the best forms of contraceptive that guard against STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection).
Male Condoms are simple to use (just wear them on the penis to cover the length) 😉 and safe.
It is also convenient, inexpensive, easy to get hold of, and does not require a prescription.
The female condom is a strong, thin protective covering with a ring on each side to hold it in place.
Condoms have a history of making sex not so pleasurable and less sensational.
Moreso, if you are using a lubricant, be sure not to use an oil-based lubricant to avoid being burst.
The sponge is a plastic foam that contains spermicide.
A woman inserts it into her vagina before sexual intercourse and has a nylon string for easy removal afterwards.
The sponge prevents pregnancy by covering the cervix so that no sperm can enter. It also releases spermicide to immobilise sperm.
5. Withdrawal Method:
Someone said this is hard because it’s just like jumping off a moving train without reaching your destination.
The withdrawal method involves the man pulling his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation.
The withdrawal method is the oldest form of birth control, but it is not the most effective.
The choice of birth control method to use is solely your choice as a mom.
However, it’s best to consult with your doctor for what works for you after gaining knowledge on the different types of birth control.
Are you currently on any birth control?
Would you be considering any of these?
Leave me and comment and let me know what you think, Mamma.
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