Finding The Right Family Planning Option


Would you like to be a parent someday? If so, when?

If you already have kids, do you want to have more? These are important decisions. Fortunately, you have some control over if and when to become pregnant. Take a look at your options so you can make the best choice for you and your family.

If you’re not ready for a family now, but might want children someday: There are many types of birth control. There is not one method that is best for everyone. Birth control can be very effective when used correctly.

The right method for you depends on:

  • How often you have sex
  • If and when you want children
  • Your health
  • Your comfort with the chosen method

Some birth control options include:

  • Condoms, which also protect against sexually transmitted diseases
  • Birth control pills, which require a prescription from a doctor
  • The birth control patch, vaginal ring, or birth control shot; these methods last for one to three months at a time
  • IUD (intrauterine device). There are several types.  They can be placed within the uterus by your physician and can last 3 – 10 years depending on the type you receive.

If you hope to become pregnant in the near future: Your health can affect the health of your future baby. Women with medical problems need to have those problems treated before getting pregnant for the best outcomes.  

Women who may become pregnant need to take folic acid supplements to avoid neural tube defects in their baby. Talk with your doctor about what you can do to have a healthy baby.

If you have been trying to get pregnant, but have been having a hard time: You or your partner may be infertility issues. Most couples (90 percent) will get pregnant during one year of attempting pregnancy.

You may want to talk with your doctor if you:

  • Are older than 35 and have not conceived after six months of trying
  • Have had more than one miscarriage
  • Have been trying to get pregnant for one year or longer

Infertility is frequently treatable. Medicine, surgery, and other procedures may allow you to have children.

If you don’t want children, at least for a while: Some types of birth control work for years at a time. One option is an intrauterine device. An IUD prevents pregnancy for five to 10 years.

If you never want children, or don’t want more children: Sterilization permanently prevents pregnancy. It is an option for both men and women.  There are several procedures for sterilization including Essure and laparoscopic tubal ligation.    

Contraception is a covered benefit of the Affordable Care Act and should be covered at 100 percent through your insurance carrier.

You may feel nervous talking about sex with your doctor. But remember that she is used to talking about these topics and cares about your health. So don’t hesitate: Take charge of your future. Talk with your doctor about family planning.

If you would like to talk to one of the physicians at Northern New Mexico Women’s Health Center about family planning options or any of your health concerns, call 505.661.9201. Northern New Mexico Women’s Health Center is in suite 137 at Los Alamos Medical Center.

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