Family planning is when a woman plans the number and spacing of her children. Birth control is one way to plan when you want to start a family, limit the number of children you plan to have, or plan how long you want to wait before becoming pregnant again. If you do not use some method of birth control, your chances of getting pregnant are at least 85% each time you have sex. Not having sex is the only method that is 100% effective but can be a challenging method for couples.
There are many methods of birth control that are safe and effective to use while nursing a baby. For your health and the health of your children, it is best to space pregnancies at least 18 months apart. Take the opportunity to discuss your plans for birth control or pregnancy spacing with your health care provider. Together, you can find the method that will work best for you.
The decision about birth control is very personal. When deciding, you may think about your past experience with different methods. You may also consider your future plans for children, religious beliefs, and whether or not you are exclusively breastfeeding. Health factors such as smoking, having liver disease, having blood clots, or having a family member that has had blood clots, taking medications or herbal products are all very important topics to discuss with your health care provider. By learning about birth control, you can choose a method that works best for you and your family at each stage of your childbearing years. Listed below are the many types of birth control available to you so that you can take control of planning your family and your future.