Article
EDUCATION CORNER

    Family Planning

    Your decision of a conception prevention strategy relies upon various variables, including your well-being, how frequently you engage in sexual relations, and whether you need kids. This article provides an introductory overview of family planning counselling.


    Advantages of family planning:

    • Allows individuals to achieve their ideal number of children
    • Avoiding undesirable pregnancies.
    • It gives space to children to acquire enough parental care and attention.
    • Reduces the requirement for abortion
    • Preventing pregnancy-related health risks in ladies
    • Reducing newborn child mortality
    • Helping to prevent HIV/AIDS
    • Empowering individuals and enhancing education
    • Reducing adolescent pregnancies
    • Slowing the population growth

    For couples who are just married and don’t want to conceive (newly Married ):

    Most of the couples wish to enjoy their relationship and understand each other better before starting a family. So, it is imperative to settle on contraception strategies to anticipate undesirable pregnancy. There are different types of contraception accessible that can help you in settling on the right family choices.



    Condom: When you say best it's always condom whether newly married or later.

    • Male condom:The condom is fitted on the erect penis before sexual relations. The air must be removed from the teat end to make space for the discharge. The condom must be held carefully while pulling back it from the vagina to abstain from spilling sperm into the vagina after intercourse.
    • Female condom: The female condom which lines the vagina. An inward ring in the nearby end of the pouch covers the cervix and an outer ring stays outside the vagina.

    Advantages of condom:

    • Easily available
    • Safe & inexpensive
    • Do not require medical supervision
    • No side effects
    • Light, compact and dispensable
    • Provide also protection against STD

    Disadvantage:

    • It may slip off or tear during sex due to not properly use.
    • Interferes with sex sensation locally about which some complain while others become accustomed to it.


    Diaphragm

    There are cervical caps, which the lady embeds into her vagina with spermicide. These are about as effective as condoms. If your spouse is really opposed to condoms, then they may be a good choice.

    Advantages of diaphragm:

    • Has no effect on hormone levels
    • is immediately effective and immediately reversible
    • Is not usually felt by either partner
    • it does not need regular doctor's visits

    Disadvantage

    • Difficulty with insertion
    • There is a possibility of the diaphragm moving, at time of intercourse
    • It needs to be inserted before every act of intercourse


    Oral contraceptive pills: Oral contraceptive pills or birth control pills are female contraception that requires daily intake by women to prevent pregnancy. These are mainly of two types (hormone pills); Combined oral contraceptives (COCs) pills and Progestin-only pills (POPs).

    combined pills prevent ovulation to prevent pregnancy, POPs prevent ovulation and thickening of the cervical mucus to block sperm from meeting an egg.

    Advantages of Oral contraceptive pills:

    • Pill is almost effective in preventing pregnancy
    • It does not interrupt sex
    • It typically makes your bleed normal and less painful
    • It lessens your risk of malignant growth of the ovaries and colon

    Disadvantage of oral contraceptives pills:

    • Side effects such as nausea, soft breasts, mood swings, severe head pain
    • It raises the blood pressure
    • It increases the risk of some disease like thrombosis (blood clots) and breast cancer
    •  It does not secure you against sexually transmitted diseases


    Natural method

    A natural method or Rhythm method (natural contraceptive method) is the natural birth control method that is based upon ovulation cycle. This is a simple method in which a couple abstains from sex during the fertile days of the cycle. It requires paying close attention to different body changes (like cervical mucus and basal body temperature) by female to predict her ovulation period. Once you establish your probable ovulation day, sex should be avoided 7 days before and 2 days after that day.

    This method requires commitment from both male and female as female needs to monitor her cycle for fertility days while the male need to withdraw penis before ejaculation.

    Advantages of a natural method:

    • Inexpensive or free
    • Does not involve drugs or medical procedures

    Disadvantage:

    • No STD protection
    • Keeping track of your cycle is required
    • Spontaneity is limited
    • Low effectiveness rate


    For Couple who is having one kid and need a gap to plan second pregnancy : (Birth spacing)

    Pregnancy spacing or birth spacing is the interval between two pregnancies of the same woman. As per WHO recommendations, there should be at least 24 months gap between two pregnancies. The shorter the time gap between two pregnancies, the higher is the risk to the mother as well as the baby. There is an increased risk of premature birth, low birth weight, etc. So, take appropriate contraceptive measures to prevent pregnancy.


    Intrauterine devices (IUDs): They are small and flexible frames made of plastic that are inserted into the uterus of the woman by a doctor. Hormonal type of IUD is called the levonorgestrel-releasing IUD (LNG-IUD) that daily releases hormone levonorgestrel daily to suppress the endometrial growth. It is most effective for up to five years. It is reversible and can be easily removed from the uterus.

    Advantages of IUDs

    • IUDs are almost successful in averting pregnancy.
    • They are also safe in breastfeeding case
    • They offer longevity 
    • No medicine has any effect on it
    • IUDs are easily pulled out whenever by a properly trained specialist or medical caretaker.

    DISADVANTAGE of IUDs:

    • At first, people who use IUD face some period-like cramp pains but soon it will calm down
    • Chances of IUD slipping out.
    • The mensuration cycle will also face challenges such as staining or constant bleeding in the beginning days of periods.
    • You may suffer from breast tenderness, sorehead, skin-related and mood-related problems.


    Hormonal implants: They are small rod-shaped devices which are placed below the skin of the upper arm by an expert. This tool can be reversed and is very productive for about three to seven years relying on the specific kind. Such implants let out progestin-only hence, securing them for lactating women. These implants block ovulation and stiffen cervical mucus, which leads to blocking sperm from mixing an egg.


    For Couple who wants a complete family and needs a permanent solution (complete family) Sterilization:

    Sterilization is an enduring protection tool for pregnancy.

    Tubectomy:Female sterilization is known as tubectomy in which surgical clogging or removing of women’s fallopian tubes so that the eggs set loose from the ovaries cannot reach the tubes in order to meet sperms.

    Vasectomy: Male sterilization is known as vasectomy in which removing or clogging of men’s vas deferens that performs a function of carrying sperms to the penis.

    Advantages of Sterilization:

    • Permanent protection against pregnancy
    • No lasting side effects
    • Does not affect sexual pleasure

    Disadvantage of sterilization:

    • It cannot be reversed.
    • Sterilisation necessitates that you get some much-needed rest to have this done, just as for recovery.


    Best contraceptive for you:

    Every couple need is different and their capabilities to prevent pregnancy are also different. So, considering your requirements and your abilities, you can choose a family planning method for you or can also consult a specialist.


    References:

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-implant/

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/the-pill-progestogen-only/ (Contraceptive pill during breastfeeding)

    Frequently Asked Questions

    There are so many ways of contraception described above. Every method has its own way to prevent pregnancy. Every method also requires close management. So, decide your requirements and evaluate your and your partner’s abilities before deciding for any of the contraceptive methods.

     

    Emergency contraceptive pill can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. But it is better to take it at the earliest to prevent pregnancy.


    As soon as you decide to start a family, you should stop every method of contraception including oral contraceptives. Consult your doctor and also start pre-natal vitamins.

    There is no evidence that hormonal pills (both combination pills and progestin-only pills) cause any harm to the baby. 

    There have been many types of research to find if hormonal pills cause weight gain. Almost all the studies have proved that weight gain is not due to hormonal pills but lifestyle or genes may be responsible for weight gain in women who are taking pills to prevent pregnancy. 


    Sterilization only ties the fallopian tubes to prevent the entry of sperm into the female uterus. It does not cause any change in the menstruation, its flow or won’t even stop bleeding before menopause. 


    Sterilization methods do not give any protection against STI. The best way to protect yourself from STI is by using condoms that prevent the transfer of fluids from one partner to the other. 


    These are just side-effects of the pill and are quite natural. The occurrence of these side-effects will not hamper their role of pregnancy prevention and the pill will work for the cause.