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Birth control and family planning


Your choice of a birth control method depends on a number of factors, including your health, how often you have sex, and whether or not you want children.

Which of the following are birth control options for women?The correct answer is all of the above. Your choice of birth control should depend on several factors, including your health, number of sexual partners, and desire to have children. Talk to your health care provider to select the best form of birth control for you.How does birth control prevent pregnancy?The correct answer is all of the above. The goal of all types of birth control is to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching in the uterus. Talk to your doctor and your partner about which type of birth control is best for you. Which form of birth control offers the most protection against pregnancy?The correct answer is IUDs. IUDs are 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy than birth control pills, patches, or rings. Talk to your doctor to find out if this form of contraception is right for you.Who should NOT use birth control pills?The correct answer is women who are over age 35 and smoke. Smoking greatly increases your risk of heart disease. Birth control pills can increase this risk even more. If you have endometriosis, PMS, or acne, you may notice fewer symptoms while you’re taking birth control pills. Ask your doctor which pill is right for you.Certain types of birth control pills can get rid of your period almost entirely.The correct answer is true. Extended cycle (or continuous use) medicines reduce, or even eliminate, monthly periods. Talk to your doctor about whether this option is right for you.Which of the following is true about injected contraceptives (Depo-Provera).The correct answer is all of the above. Depo-Provera does a good job of preventing pregnancy. It also has side effects, including weight gain, menstrual cycle changes, headaches, and bone loss. It could cause infertility for up to 2 years after the last injection. Talk to your doctor about whether Depo-Provera is right for you.Copper-releasing IUDs can stay in the uterus for up to 10 years.The correct answer is true. Both copper-releasing (ParaGard) and progestin-releasing (Mirena) IUDs do a good job of preventing pregnancy. ParaGard can remain in the uterus for up to 10 years compared to 5 years for Mirena. Talk to your doctor about whether using an IUD is right for you. Which natural family planning method works best?The correct answer is Symptothermal Method. This method combines the calendar, cervical mucus, and temperature methods. Because of the high risk of pregnancy, only couples who can't use or choose not to use other types of birth control should use this method. Talk with your doctor before using this approach to birth control.You can use a diaphragm safely for 5 years.The correct answer is false. Some women need to get a different-sized diaphragm after pregnancy, abdominal or pelvic surgery, or weight loss or gain of 10 pounds or more. You should replace your diaphragm every 1 - 2 years.It's best to use emergency contraception within__ day(s) after having unprotected sex:The correct answer is 1 day. Emergency contraception works best when you use it within 24 hours of having sex. However, it can prevent pregnancy for up to 3 days after you first had sex. One type may work up to 5 days later, but it's best to take it sooner. Emergency contraception should not be used as a routine form of birth control. Which sterilization method works the best?The correct answer is both work equally well. However, vasectomy carries fewer risks and is less expensive than female sterilization. Only you and your partner can decide which method is right for you. Consider your options carefully since it can be difficult to reverse sterilization.
Alternative Names:

Contraception; Family planning and contraception; Coitus interruptus


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Committee opinion no. 539: adolescents and long-acting reversible contraception: implants and intrauterine devices. Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Oct;120(4):983-8.

Amy JJ, Tripathi V. Contraception for women: an evidence-based review. BMJ. 2009;339:b2895. doi:10.1136/bmj.b2895.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. U.S. Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, 2013: adapted from the World Health Organization selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use, 2nd edition. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2013 Jun 21;62(RR-05):1-60.

Committee On Adolescence. Emergency contraception. Pediatrics. 2012 Dec;130(6):1174-82. Epub 2012 Nov 26.

Jensen JT, Mishell DR. Family planning: contraception, sterilization, and pregnancy termination. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 13.

Linares AC, Schutt-Aine AI. Contraception. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 26.

Lopez LM, Grimes DA, Gallo MF, Stockton LL, Schulz KF. Skin patch and vaginal ring versus combined oral contraceptives for contraception. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Apr 30;4:CD003552.

Review Date: 3/11/2014
Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, WA; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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