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Family Planning



Babies are irresistibly cute and can bring tremendous joy to the lives of their parents. However, they also require a lot of work to take care of them. Being a successful, responsible parent starts with waiting for the right time to have children. For most people, this means using some type of birth control for a brief period of time. And due to a lot of common misconceptions about birth control, many women who are not emotionally or financially ready to have kids get pregnant because they left their fertility to chance.

One common myth is that birth control means filling your body with tons of artificial hormones. Many people distrust artificial hormones and are uncomfortable with taking birth control pills because they do not want to fill their bodies with them. While the pill, the patch, and other methods do use hormones to prevent the release of an egg, there are plenty of other birth control methods that are 100% hormone-free, such as IUD’s, condoms, vaginal rings, and natural family planning (also known as periodic abstinence). If used correctly, all of these methods can help prevent pregnancy without the use of hormones.

Another myth that prevents many young women from asking their obstetrician about birth control is the misconception that using birth control will make it harder to become pregnant down the road. In reality, surgical sterilization is the only birth control method that will make it difficult for a woman to conceive in years to come. The pill, IUD’s, barrier methods, and periodic abstinence are all ineffective as soon as a woman stops using them. Women who effectively use family planning to delay pregnancy should have no difficulty conceiving when the time is right.

Another common misconception is that family planning is unsexy. Certain methods, such as natural family planning, will inhibit spontaneous sexual experiences. Some couples are able to work through the inconvenience and it is no longer a big deal to them. For others, it is a major problem. Fortunately, there are several methods that do not interrupt sex at all. IUD’s and hormonal birth control are two examples.

The good news about family planning is that there are tons of options. Women should talk with their obstetrician and learn more about their options before deciding which method is right for them. While the plethora of options may seem daunting, women should remember that choosing no method of family planning is a choice as well. Choosing not to use birth control is a decision that says that it is okay to have a baby right now. But women who want to wait must make a different choice.


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