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Family planning: what are my options?

by sanmigueltimes
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Nowadays, more couples are choosing to wait to become parents until their mid-thirties. According to the United Nations, by 2019, 49% of women during their reproductive age were using some forms of contraception. These show a great increase compared to 1990 where only 36% of women were using some of these methods. This is why today it is so important to be aware of all of the methods that can help you with your family planning.

What is family planning?

Family planning services are used to educate families or couples to determine the number of children they want to have and spacing the births in order to have a better life as a family. The most common thought that comes to mind when we speak about family planning is the contraceptive methods, but this is not the only important topic it speaks of.

Sex education, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and infertility management are some of the topics that family planning stands for.

Which one is for me?

The best method for you will depend on many factors like your lifestyle or your health. What works for one woman may not work for another one, so; it is very important that once you decide to use contraception, you go to an appointment with your gynecologist. This way, the specialist can listen to your needs and can make the right decision and diagnosis.

There are two kinds of contraceptive methods that you can consider depending on what you want. These are being explained in the next lines.

Non definitive contraceptive methods

In this kind of method, you decide when to take them and when to stop your treatment. In most cases, the patient decides to stop their treatment in order to get pregnant.

These types of methods include:

  • Birth control pills
  • Intrauterine Device (IUD): some of these can release a certain amount of hormones to prevent pregnancy.
  • Subdermal implant
  • Vaginal ring
  • Birth control patch

Definitive contraceptive methods

Now, if you don’t plan to become a parent in the future or already have the numbers of children you want, you might consider a definitive contraceptive method.

If this is your case, these are the two options you can choose from:

  • Tubal ligation
  • Vasectomy

Both of these options need a small clinical procedure. If you want a tubal ligation, this can be done laparoscopically or with a small incision in the abdomen. On the other hand, vasectomy is an outpatient surgery that only uses local anesthesia. This small procedure lasts less than an hour.

How to pick one correctly?

In order to make the best choice for your health and your plans in the future, a gynecologist will make you an analysis. This way, you will have a great amount of certainty when it comes to the effectiveness of the chosen method, the risks that come with using it, and that, in case of planning to get pregnant; this will not affect their fertility.

However, before any procedure or for a better diagnosis, it is important to consult a doctor. Remember the importance of not self-medicating.

We thank Dr. Francisco A. Martínez, obstetrician gynecologist, for sharing information for this article. This specialist graduated from the Universidad La Salle. He has 27 years of medical experience and specializes in Legal Termination of Pregnancy, Cosmetic Gynecology, Vaginal Aesthetics, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Outpatient Surgery and Pelvic Static Disorders


  1. United Nations
  2. United Nations Population Fund
  3. National Health Services
  4. Mayo Clinic
  5. Planned Parenthood

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