Making the Right Decision: Family Planning

Family planning

Family planning is when a couple decides the number of children they are going to have and the time between births. Family planning is a serious matter in one’s life.

We all live increasingly stressful and busy lives these days, and it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees sometimes. So when it comes to planning a family, it can be quite daunting to get your head around the different types of contraception devices that are out there. Below is a list of different methods, so you can understand what is involved and which one is likely to suit you best.


Contraceptive Implant

Designed for women, an implant is a small, malleable rod which is inserted just under the skin in the arm. Gradually, it releases the progestogen hormone for up to three years. Progestogen is a similar chemical to the progesterone produced by ovaries during a woman’s period.


Contraceptive Injections

Women can use contraceptive injections which last between 8 and 12 weeks. Noristerat prevents pregnancy for two months, whereas Depo-Provera lasts for 3 months. Both are particularly effective at preventing conception during their use.


Combined Pill

Commonly referred to as “The Pill”, the combined pill contains chemicals which are similar to the naturally occurring estrogen and progesterone hormones which are produced in the ovaries. The pill works by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg each month.


Contraceptive Patch

Similar to a nicotine patch, the contraceptive patch is placed on the skin and is left to release the hormones, which are similar to those found in the combined pill- estrogen and progestogen.



There are typically two types of condoms, and chiefly the male version is used more widely. Both forms, however, are barrier methods- that is they stop the sperm from reaching the egg. A female condom is worn inside the vagina and acts as a lining.



Designed for women and to be inserted into the vagina, a diaphragm covers the cervix/entrance to the womb. For diaphragms to work properly, however, a spermicide should be used in conjunction, as this kills the sperm.



Sterilization can be performed on both men and women and is normally irreversible. It should, therefore, be pursued with caution and a full understanding of the implications. In female sterilization (tubal occlusion), the fallopian tubes are cut and sealed, which prevents the egg from the ovaries travelling into the womb. In male sterilization, the tube carrying the sperm from the testes is cut and sealed to prevent this from happening. Male sterilization is also referred to as a vasectomy.