Family planning and sex education are taught to kids as early as high school. It is part of the curriculum to guide kids about what to expect when they engage in pre-marital sex. However, the topics discussed are still limited, that there has been no emphasis on proper family planning.
Family planning or modern birth control started in the 20th century. Back then, when people are more conservative, there are already 1.3 million unintended or unwanted pregnancies every year. Not to mention the number of mothers who died during childbirth and that statistics are showing one out of five newborn babies dying due to improper pregnancy care.
Margaret Sanger, a public health nurse, spearheaded the movement to legalize birth control because she had seen the antagonistic effect of frequent pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, and childbirth. These events take a toll on the mother and the child that she carries.
Nowadays, family planning is taught or advised to individuals and couples to choose the spacing and number of children they will have. Different methods of achieving this are no available at hospitals and clinics all around the country. Family planning also reduces the need for an abortion from unwanted pregnancies.
Knowing how to use birth control properly will also help avoid teenage pregnancy. In the US, 73% of adolescent pregnancies are from the age group of 18-19 years old. That is the same age that they are graduating from or have just graduated high school. Teenage pregnancy is also one reason why many students do not proceed to college after high school.
Birth control has three essential needs that it addresses; first, unintended pregnancy, which lessens the number of miscarriage and abortion, second, it also helps prevent the spread of STD, and lastly, it helps prevent infertility. There are many birth control options that an individual or couple can choose from to help you. It is essential to know your options when it comes to choosing the right birth control method.
- Periodic Abstinence Method – In this method, you need to be aware of your or your partner’s fertility. If you or your partner have irregular menstruation, you should observe the menstrual cycle six months before doing this. Women are typically fertile for six days during the whole period, and pregnancy chances are relatively higher when you engage in unprotected sex.
- Lactational Amenorrhoea Method (LAM) – This is a natural contraceptive explicitly applicable to new mothers. However, this is only good for the first six months after giving birth, and there should be no spotting or periods yet and should be breastfeeding the baby.
- Coitus Interruptus – Commonly known as the withdrawal method, is when a man withdraws his penis from the vagina before ejaculation and directs his semen away to prevent conception.
- Condoms are usually made of latex rubber that acts as a barrier during sexual intercourse and lessens the chances of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Condom’s primary purpose is to avoid fertilization. However, it is only 80% effective, and there are still chances of pregnancy. There are also two kinds of condoms; one for men and one for women. Condoms for men are more common than the female condom, but condoms for females are said to be more pleasurable.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD) – IUD is a T-shaped device placed inside the uterus to help avoid pregnancy. There are two types of IUD; Non-hormonal copper T IUD and Hormonal Intrauterine Device. The two IUDs are equally effective and vary in some details. Copper T IUD is effective immediately upon placing it because copper serves as a sperm killer, preventing the sperm from fertilizing an egg, does not contain hormones, and it also lasts for ten years. The intrauterine hormonal device contains hormones that trigger the body to thicken the cervical mucus and make the uterus lining thinner, therefore preventing fertilization. This only lasts 3 to 5 years, depending on the type. Both types of IUD is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- Contraceptive Implant – A plastic rod containing progestin is implanted just under the skin in the upper arm. The rod then releases progestin, a hormone that causes cervical mucus to thicken and the uterus’ lining to be thinner. The effect might take a week, so it is recommended to abstain from having sexual intercourse or use a backup contraceptive method. The implant is good for three years, but you can have your physician remove it anytime that you want. This birth control method is 99% effective as well.
- Birth Control Shot – Progestin is injected into your body to thicken the cervical mucus and make the uterus lining thin, preventing pregnancy. Each dose is suitable for 12 weeks or roughly three months, and the shot needs to be administered in time. There are chances of pregnancy if not conducted on time. This method provides 96% effectiveness.
- Birth Control Pills – This is one of the most common contraceptive methods. Unknown to many, there are two types of pills – Combined Pills and Prostegin-only Pills. Combined pills have two hormones, estrogen, and prostegin; this keeps the ovaries from releasing an egg and also thickens the cervical mucus and thins the uterus lining. The other type is the prostegin only pills, which only helps to thicken the cervical mucus and thins the uterus lining. Both should be taken daily at the same time. Taking your pills at different hours might cause ineffectiveness. This method is 91% effective in preventing pregnancy.
These are the conventional birth control methods with the highest yielded result. However, it is still best to consult an OB-Gyne so proper prescription is provided, and you will have a guide as to what are the things that you need to consider when it comes to family planning.
Family planning is beneficial in a lot of ways, such as:
- Healing the body – Childbirth is the most painful experience that a woman will experience. Family planning will help the mother’s body heal and recover before supporting a new life inside her.
- Child Development – Raising a child is not an easy task. A child needs more attention as they grow, and proper spacing in childbirth will help you take care of your child’s emotional, mental, and social needs before making them care for a new family member.
- Finances – It is costly to be pregnant and to give birth nowadays. Let alone raising a child. The things that a child needs like diapers, clothes, milk, food, carriers, car seat, toys, education, and many more can hurt your finances if not appropriately planned. Imagine supporting a newborn, a two-year-old, a three-year-old, and a five-year-old not to mention the recovery that the mother needs. It is very costly and unhealthy for everyone in the family.
Family planning has proven to be a useful and reliable method of raising a healthy family. It is very accessible today, and health professionals actively support it. All you need to do is to consult an OB-Gyne for consultation and advisement. If you want to know more about family planning, you can visit Chariss Family Medical Clinic and Med-Spa.