Family Planning is helpful in maintaining optimal reproductive and sexual health.
When women and families are able to plan and prepare for a pregnancy, increased satisfaction and comfort occurs in overall health, relationships (romantic and otherwise), careers, finances, and happiness.
- Prevent/Delay Pregnancy: Contraceptives are a great tool to help you be in control of your fertility and sexual health. The urge to have sex is incredibly normal, and the overwhelming majority of people have sex without intention to reproduce. Many people want children at some point in their lives, but not necessarily now. Since becoming a parent is major decision, it is ideal for people to make that choice when they feel ready and prepared. Contraception allows couples the freedom to choose when they want to have children, and enjoy sex without the worry of unintentionally making a baby.
- Assure Health of Mother and Baby: Contraception is incredibly helpful in spacing pregnancies. After giving birth, a woman's body requires time to heal properly and rebuild nutrients. Most doctors recommend at least 18-24 months between pregnancies. That is, a woman should avoid becoming pregnant again until her youngest child is at least 1.5 - 2 years old, regardless of how she gave birth. If a woman is less than 18-24 months postpartum, it is encouraged for her to use a reliable birth control method; as having pregnancies too close together can put a mother and baby at physical and emotional risk, both in the long and short term.
Pregnancies too close together (especially less than 6 months after giving birth) have the following increased risks: premature birth, low birth weight, congenital disorders, placental abruption, and schizophrenia. Recent studies suggest Autism risks can increase in pregnancies less than 24 months apart, with the highest risk associated with pregnancies less than 12 months apart.
(Information by Mayo Clinic Staff/Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research MFMER, 2011)
Some health conditions (like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc) can complicate pregnancy. Women with these and other health conditions can have perfectly healthy babies, but they increase their baby's chances of good health if the pregnancy is planned and discussed with a doctor beforehand. When a mother plans a pregnancy, she can begin nurturing and caring for her body prior to conception (such as: quit smoking/drinking, eat healthy, exercise, visit the doctor, take supplements--like folic acid, etc.) All pregnancies benefit if a mother is healthy before she becomes pregnant.
- Medical Reasons: Contraceptives can be used to alleviate many medical issues, such as: Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps), menstrual regulation, Menorrhagia (heavy bleeding), hormonal balance, menstrual migraines, PMS, PMDD, Acne, Anemia, and even Menopause. Some women use birth control for these reasons, even when they are not sexually active, with some birth control users having no sexual experience whatsoever. Combined Hormonal Contraceptives (Pill/Ring/Patch) can also be used to decrease the risk of certain cancers, specifically Ovarian, Endometrial, and Colorectal.
Article written by