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family planning options - Planning baby and Parenting

Family Planning Options

What is family planning?: Planning your pregnancy, the number of children you want & when to have them.

Methods to prevent sperm from entering the uterus during sexual intercourse.

1. Condoms (Most preferred & commonly used):
     - Male Condoms: Should be rolled on the penis to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
     - Female Condoms: Should be inserted inside the vagina to block ejaculated semen from entering the body.
2. Spermicides:
     - A liquid like substance- mostly used in condoms- that kills or blocks sperm movement to prevent pregnancy.
     - Spermicidally lubricated condoms are available in the market.
3. Diaphragm: A thin rubber dome which is inserted into the vagina along with spermicide, to prevent pregnancy.
     - Diaphragm should be inserted before sexual intercourse.
     - It should remain the the woman's vagina for about 8 hours after last intercourse.
     - Consult your gynaecologist for details.
4. Contraceptive Pills:
     - Some pills need to be taken before sexual intercourse, and some, after intercourse.
     - Consult your gynaecologist for the right pill & dosage.


Temporary pregnancy prevention method used by women.

1. Injected during or after monthly periods.
2. Stops ovulation.
3. Gives long term pregnancy prevention. Protection for 2-3 months.
4. Disadvantages:
    - Changes in menstrual bleeding like spotting may happen.
    - May result in slight weight gain.


Intrauterine device (IUD) is a method of placing an object inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy.

1. Copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs are available.
2. The foreign substances kill sperms that enter the vagina.
3. The IUDs can easily be inserted with the help of a physician.
4. Disadvantage:
    - May sometimes increase bleeding during menstruation.


Prevent pregnancy naturally without the intervention of other methods of birth control.

1. Withdrawal Method:
    - Penis should be withdrawn from the vagina before ejaculation (ejecting semen from the male genital system).
    - This is not a foolproof method & a woman may get pregnant due to possible residual semen left.
2. Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LMA):
    - In a breastfeeding woman, hormones needed for ovulation are not produced & pregnancy may be prevented.
    - Ovulation- A process by which a mature egg is released from the ovary, which is ready for fertilization.
3. Fertility Monitoring:
    - Monitor the fertility stage of a woman & avoid sex during the fertile phase of her cycle.
    - Fertile period in a woman's menstrual cycle corresponds to 2nd & the beginning of the 3rd week of 28 day cycle.
    - Do note that the fertile period differs from one woman to another.
4. Total Abstinence: Avoiding vaginal sex in all possible ways to prevent pregnancy.


Method of placing 6 plastic capsules under the skin of a woman's upper arm with a minor surgical procedure.

1. The capsule releases progestin (synthetic hormones) which thickens cervical mucus and stops ovulation.
2. Can prevent pregnancy for 4-5 years and sometimes longer.
3. Known to increase sexual pleasure sometimes.
4. Reversible. The capsules can be removed anytime.
5. Breastfeeding women can also use Norplant.


Considered as a permanent, sometimes reversible procedure of birth control which makes a woman or man unable to reproduce.

1. Tubal Ligation: Fallopian tubes of a woman are sealed in order to prevent fertilization.
     - Sealing fallopian tubes prevent sperms fusing with egg.
     - Though it is a permanent procedure, tubes may be reconnected & process is costly with low success rate.
2. Vasectomy (Popular):
    - Vasa deferentia of a man are sealed after just a couple of minor incisions & local anesthesia to the scrotum.
    - Procedure is absolutely safe and a person is discharged within a couple of hours or so.
    - Men cannot release sperms but will still have erections and ejaculate semen.
    - There is no decrease in sexual desires or ability to achieve orgasms.
    - One can indulge in sexual intercourse within a week or so after the operative procedure.
    - Vasectomies may be reversed in men but the procedure is costly with low success rate.