Family planning is defined as the means by which individuals and couples attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births. This is achieved with contraception and the treatment of infertility.
Options for family planning include IUDs and implants, birth control pills, patches, and rings, injections, barrier methods like condoms (male and female), diaphragms, cervical caps, and sponges, and natural methods like fertility awareness and abstinence. These methods vary in effectiveness (See figure below).
There are many reasons a woman would want to control her fertility – to get an education, to improve her socio-economic status, to improve her reproductive health, and to improve health outcomes for her and her baby. At AFHP, we like to say that family planning is the center of the universe, because it can help a woman achieve all these things.
As always, if you need help finding a clinic or can’t afford your birth control, give us a call at (602) 258-5777. We can help!
– Erica Freese, MPH student intern