Parenthood is an experience unlike any other. Anyone who is dreaming of building his/her own family someday should know that maintaining the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of the child will be one of his/her biggest responsibilities.
Unfortunately, not all children can experience the privilege of growing up in an ideal family environment. Intimacy is vital for a couple, but unexpected pregnancies can severely affect relationships, bring about difficulties in a child’s upbringing, and cause various complications in the future.
To steer clear of these consequences, family planning is crucial. Practice responsible parenthood to ensure the well-being of children. To help couples have a long, happy, and healthy family life, the guide below will discuss the different types of family planning methods.
It has been years since former President Benigno S. Aquino III signed the Reproductive Health (RH) Law. As of 2019, contraceptive use in the Philippines stands at 40%, which is still a long way to go from the government’s goal of 65% by 2020. To reach this milestone, health and medical professionals must educate the public about family planning and responsible parenthood.
Thanks to advancements in medical technology, people now have access to different types of family planning methods. However, most people are unaware of these innovations and unconsciously limit themselves to condoms, medication such as birth control pills, and risky measures like withdrawal.
At the same time, they are unaware of how to properly perform these methods and end up getting an unplanned pregnancy.
Responsible Parenthood: 18 Family Planning Methods You Should Know About
For the road to parenthood to go smoothly, family planning is a must. The guide below will discuss 18 family planning methods available today.
1. Abstinence – Pregnancy cannot happen without intercourse. Complete disengagement from all forms of sexual activity is the most straightforward measure of avoiding it.
2. Birth Control Implant – The birth control implant is administered by a health professional. The doctor will inject hormones called progestin into the arm of the woman to prevent pregnancy for a few years.
3. Birth Control Pills – These are packs of hormone medication ingested by females daily. Available in pharmacies, these hormone-filled pills are designed to stop fertility.
4. Birth Control Patch – It is a wearable contraceptive that contains estrogen and progestin. Once worn and absorbed by the body, the hormones thicken the mucus of the cervix to hinder ovulation.
5. Birth Control Shot – A series of hormonal injections that prevent ovulation and thicken cervical mucus; these shots will only be effective if they are administered every three months.
6. Birth Control Sponge – A soft plastic inserted inside the vagina before intercourse; the sponge covers the cervix and prevents the sperm from reaching the egg.
7. Birth Control Vaginal Ring – It is a small flexible ring inserted inside the vagina that stops sperm cells from merging with an egg.
8. Breastfeeding – Due to the secretion of specific hormones, women who are breastfeeding generally do not ovulate. Engaging in intercourse during this period under certain conditions will prevent unplanned pregnancies.
9. Cervical Cap – It is a small and soft device made out of silicone inserted inside the vagina.
10. Diaphragm – Similar to the cervical cap, the diaphragm is a cup-shaped device designed to cover the cervix.
11. Internal/Female Condom – It is a soft and elastic pouch inserted inside the vagina that creates a barrier against sperm. The outer ring covers the vaginal opening.
12. Intrauterine Device (IUD) – It is a tiny, T-shaped plastic device inserted in the uterus and is one of the most effective contraceptive methods. This device impairs the movement of sperm cells within the vaginal canal and prevents them from reaching the ovary.
13. Male Condom – This thin, elastic, and stretchable cover is one of the most common and widely available contraceptives. This is worn on the penis during intercourse to prevent the sperm from meeting the egg.
14. Rhythm Method – Also known as the calendar method, this requires couples to abstain from sexual activity during fertile periods of the female.
15. Spermicide – It comes in the form of a gel or cream that is applied to the vagina before intercourse. Usually paired with other devices such as a cervical cap, this product contains properties that eliminate sperm.
16. Sterilization – It is a surgical procedure performed on females that can temporarily or permanently close the fallopian tubes to prevent ovulation.
17. Vasectomy – A surgical operation performed on males that cuts tubes inside the scrotum; this permanent contraception for men prevents sperm from leaving the body.
18. Withdrawal – It is the process of pulling out the penis from the vagina before ejaculation, preventing sperm from reaching the egg during intercourse.
Benefits of Family Planning
The main benefit of family planning is that it helps governments regulate the population of the country. By adding sexual education (sex ed) to the curriculum, teens can be taught early on about sexual responsibility and the consequences of unwanted pregnancy. While sex ed is taught in developed nations, developing countries have a lot of catching up to do.
Given that the Philippines is home to over 100 million people, family planning is the best way to mitigate the consequences brought upon by overpopulation. Since sex ed in the country is limited, it is estimated that 200,000 out of 2 million births in the Philippines are from teenage pregnancies. To prevent this statistic from rising, spreading awareness is the key.
In a household setting, family planning can bring about many benefits. Bearing a child is a huge responsibility, and being financially unprepared can compromise the short- and long-term security and stability of the family. In terms of health, planning a partner’s pregnancy with the help of medical professionals will also help prevent health complications.
From an emotional standpoint, family planning can strengthen the bond of a couple. The journey of pregnancy to giving birth in a delivery room is no easy feat, and the process of raising a child may be one of the biggest tests in a couple’s relationship. Practicing responsible parenthood by planning together will undoubtedly fortify the union in the years to come.