What Does Family Planning Mean to You?

What Does Family Planning Mean to You?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), family planning is defined as “the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births”. It is achieved through contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary infertility.

Family planning is not just about avoiding pregnancies, it is also about helping people make informed choices that match their life goals. Seeking advice from FP Health professionals can provide useful information and tools that can help people make their own choices about having children.

To lower unwanted pregnancies and improve pregnancy outcomes, healthcare providers are increasingly involving women in open discussions and conversations about their reproductive goals. Family planning is a very important aspect of reproductive health that goes beyond contraception.

This article will discuss different ways to make informed choices about your family and body. It will also explain different family planning options, clear up common myths and misconceptions of family planning, and show how menstruation and family planning are connected.

What Does Family Planning Mean to You?

What Are These Methods of Family Planning?

One size does not fit all when it comes to family planning conversations as what works for one person might not work for another. This is why having different methods available is essential for effective family planning.

The following are some of the key factors that could determine family planning decisions:

- Variety: Not everyone wants the same thing. Some people prefer long-lasting options while others prefer flexibility. Different methods like pills, injections, or condoms offer choices to fit various needs and lifestyles.

- Health concerns: Some methods might not be suitable for some people due to health conditions. Having options allows these people to find something safe and effective for their condition.

- Personal preferences: Some people dislike hormones, while others prioritize convenience. Having diverse methods empowers individuals to choose something they feel comfortable and confident using.

Barrier Methods: Diaphragms, Female and Male Condoms, and Cervical Caps are all classic examples of Barrier family planning methods. They serve as a protective wall or latex which stops the sperm from getting close to or in contact with the female egg.

Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs): Examples of this Family Planning method includes Vaginal Rings, Contraceptive Shots, Intrauterine Device or IUD, and Implantable Rod. LARCs are the best family planning method for people (women) who would still want to get pregnant in the future but are not comfortable with using regular barrier methods.

Natural Family Planning (NFP): NFP is a family planning method that is completely free and has no negative side effects. This method tracks or keeps a record of the woman’s ovulation or fertile days to avoid getting pregnant. Some people choose NFP because of religion, personal beliefs or concerns about side effects from medicine or devices.

Can You Get Pregnant While on Family Planning Injection?

Family planning injections are very effective, but as they say, nothing can be 100% perfect. These injections can be 99% effective if used exactly right, but most people have a 94% success rate, which is still a decent outcome compared to most family planning options. So even as effective as this method sounds, there is still a very small chance of a woman getting pregnant.

Family planning injections work well, but different factors can affect how well they work for each person. This includes keeping to your injection schedule, individual health conditions, or taking other medications simultaneously. By considering all these factors, the people involved would now have adequate information to make a choice that would be right for them.

Common Myths : Can Family Planning Stop Menstruation?

While some methods can affect your flow, stopping it completely is a myth. Most family planning methods don’t stop your period, they regulate your hormones, and this can influence your cycle in different ways.

Here are some of the effects different family planning methods can have on your menstruation:

- Pills: Pills often reduce the uterine lining and can lead to lighter or possibly skipped periods.

- Hormonal Injections: Can completely suppress ovulation and menstruation, resulting in lighter periods.

- IUDs: Some types of IUDs release hormones which can have an impact on your period. Like pills, IUDs can make the flow lighter or irregular.

- Implants: Like injections, some implants can suppress ovulation and make your flow lighter.

- Barrier Methods: Barrier methods like condoms or diaphragms do not affect your hormones or period at all.

Conclusively, this article is a basic guide to help individuals get comfortable with the concept of family planning, learn about different family planning methods and correct some common myths and misconceptions about family planning. Family planning is a personal journey & with a variety of options available, you can find the perfect fit for your life and health goals.

The Epharma4FP project led by the Society for Family Health is focused on optimizing family planning service provision through e-pharmacy systems.

To speak with a licensed health care representative, click here
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