Family Planning and how to prevent pregnancyLooking for how to prevent pregnancy/family planning methods suitable for you?

This post examines 9 of the ways people of different lifestyles and preferences can achieve this goal.

Whether you want to delay, space or halt childbearing, the family planning: pregnancy prevention methods below are all yours to try.

1.      The Safe Calendar Days Method

A woman’s normal menstrual cycle lasts between 28 — 32 days, with ovulation happens around the 14th day of each cycle.

An age-long method of natural family planning is to steer clear on your ovulation days, aka ‘fertility window’. It requires that you have sex on your ‘safe days’ where pregnancy will not occur.

This means you are to avoid unprotected sex on days 8 through 19. This is when you’re ovulating and consequently, most fertile.

Note that this method is of course based on the individual menstrual calendar, since for a woman whose cycle happens to be longer or shorter than 28 days, the predicted ovulation date is changed accordingly.

2.      Withdrawal Method

This method is believed by many to be the most preferred when it comes to pregnancy prevention.

Also, it is the safest (no room for side effects of any kind) and the most cost-effective family planning technique.

The withdrawal method involves the man ensuring that he doesn’t set in motion the conditions for fertilisation.

This he does by making sure that he does not release sperm around his spouse’s vagina to eliminate every chance of conception taking place since that can only happen when the sperm comes in contact with the woman’s eggs for fertilisation to happen.

3.      Intrauterine Device (IUD)

This is a tiny, T-shaped device made from a material containing progesterone hormone or plastic and copper. The intrauterine device is then placed inside a woman’s uterus by a trained nurse or doctor. The UID method of family planning: pregnancy prevention is a long-acting and reversible method of contraception, which can stay in place for three to 10 years, depending on the device type.

Some IUDs contain hormones that are gradually released to prevent pregnancy, and the device can as well serve as effective emergency contraception if fitted by a healthcare professional within 120 hours (5 days) of having unprotected sex.

On the side, the con of this method of pregnancy prevention includes spotting and irregular menstruation during the first six months of use and non-prevention from STIs.

4.   Oral Pills

These are small pills containing either estrogen or progestin, or even both in some pills. There are different types of pills to choose from, so it’s really about having the right knowledge and choosing the oral pill type that’s right for you. The pill can have many benefits, but remembering to take it on time is the crust of the matter.

Oral contraceptive pills are highly effective when used correctly, they permit sexual spontaneity and do not interrupt sex in any way. Some pills may even help reduce heavy and painful periods.

5.   Condoms

The condom is the only form of contraception that protects against most sexually transmitted infections as well as does the work of preventing pregnancy. This method of contraception can be used by anyone.

It is hormone-free, and can be used by both sexes. Also, it comes in male and female varieties.

Male condoms are rolled onto an erect male organ and it acts as a physical barrier. It prevents sexual fluids from getting exchanged between people during sex.

On the other hand, the female condom is placed into the vagina. Based on typical use, the female condom is not quite as flexible to use or effective as the male latex condom.

It may take a little practice to get used to it.

The cons of adopting the condom as your pregnancy prevention technique include: It can tear or come off during sex if not used properly, and also, some people are allergic to latex condoms.

6.   Contraceptive Implants

This method features the placement of a small, flexible rod under the skin in a woman’s upper arm. The instrument releases a form of progesterone hormone.

This hormone stops the ovary from releasing the egg by thickening the cervical mucus, thereby making it difficult for sperm to enter the womb.

The implant requires a small procedure using a local anesthetic to fit and remove the rod. Replace after its 3-year lifespan.

Although using contraceptive implants is a highly effective, reversible, and long-lasting option that doesn’t interrupt sex,

The cons of this method include spotting and irregular menstrual cycle in the first few months, the requirement of highly trained healthcare personnel for insertion and removal; and lack of protection against STIs.

7.   The Contraceptive Injection

The contraceptive injection is a synthetic version of the hormone progestogen. It is administered into a woman’s buttock or upper arm so that over the next 12 weeks the hormone is slowly released into your bloodstream.

Related: 12 easy ways to initiate sex with your husband

The benefits of using this family planning method include that the injection is very effective, usually lasts for up to three months, and permits sexual spontaneity.

In cons, the injection may cause disrupted periods or irregular menstrual flows, spotting, it also does not protect against STIs.

8.    Sterilisation

Sterilisation is the process of completely taking away a body’s ability to conceive. It is a permanent method of contraception, suitable for people who are sure they never want children or do not want any more children. Both women and men  could do sterilisation.

It is one you and your spouse have to think about and then discuss it with your doctor to ascertain if other methods of contraception might be more suitable, as well as go over any side effects, risks, and complications of the procedure if you are to go through.

9.   Diaphragm

The diaphragm is a small, soft, silicone dome placed inside the vagina. It stops sperm from entering the uterus.

It forms a physical barrier between the man’s sperm and the woman’s egg; similar to a condom.

The diaphragm needs to stay in place for at least six hours after intercourse, but no longer than 24 hours after. You’re to take it out and clean it after the recommended 6 hours.

It is one that you can use the same diaphragm more than once, and it can last up to two years if you use it well.

Using a diaphragm can take practice and requires keeping track of the hours inserted.

However, once you get a hang of it, the diaphragm works fairly well if used correctly.

Although, it is not as reliable as the contraceptive pill, a contraceptive implant, or an IUD.

Find more resources on contraceptives and family planning here