Family Planning Methods

(front page)

Female Reproductive System

(diagram of female reproductive system)

Vagina: where the penis enters during sex and from where the baby exits during birth.
Uterus: a hollow muscle in the shape of a pear where the baby grows during pregnancy.
Cervix: the base of the uterus and the part that opens or dilates during childbirth to allow the baby to come out during childbirth.
Ovaries: organs at the sides of the uterus that produce eggs.
Fallopian tubes: connect the ovaries with the uterus and through which the egg travels to the uterus.

Menstrual Cycle

(diagram of the stages of the cycle)

Day 1: Period starts -- Ovary prepares to release an egg -- An egg is released around day 14 -- A layer of tissue forms in the uterus. The egg travels down the fallopian tube.

The menstrual cycle lasts an average of 28 days (it cab last more or less). To know the length of your cycle, count from the first day of your period in one month to the first day of your period the next month.

Hormones are chemical substances in the body that cause different changes to the body, including the following during the menstrual cycle:

  1. The cycle starts with the bleeding (menstruation) which last two to seven days.
  2. The ovary prepares to release an egg.
  3. An egg is released from the ovary around day 14, it could be before or after that.
  4. This egg travels down the fallopian tube toward the uterus.
  5. At the same time, a layer of tissue forms and thickens on the wall of the uterus.
  6. If the egg does not join with a sperm, it starts to disintegrate together with the layer of tissue and it leaves the body through the vagina. This is menstruation.

How Pregnancy Happens

(picture of a sperm and an egg)

When a man ejaculates during sex, the semen with sperm, leaves the man's penis and enters the woman's body through the vagina. Some semen may still enter the vagina even if the man ejaculates outside of the vagina.

If an egg has been released by the ovaries (ovulation), it can join with the man's sperm. This is called fertilization. Pregnancy starts when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus.

Important: sperm can live inside a woman up to five days. This means that if a woman has not ovulated when she has sex, she could still get pregnant in the next few days.

Abstinence - Not Having Sex

Abstinence in not having sex (vaginal, anal or oral). You do not share bodily fluids (semen or vaginal fluids).

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Effectiveness:

Perfect use 100% -- Typical Use ???

(page two)

The Pill

(photo of several pill packets)

The combined pill is the most commonly used and has two hormones (estrogen and progestin). There are also pills with only progestin. You take one pill every day, at the same time of day. You need a prescription.

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Effectiveness: Perfect use 99% -- Typical Use 92%

The Vaginal Ring

(diagram showing the location for the vaginal ring)

The vaginal ring is a soft, flexible, clear ring which is inserted into the vagina where it slowly releases two female hormones (estrogen and progestin) for three weeks. After three weeks, you remove the ring and the fourth week is ring-free. You need a prescription.

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Effectiveness: Perfect use 99% -- Typical use 92%

The Patch

(photo of a woman putting the patch on the back of her shoulder)

The patch releases two female hormones (estrogen and progestin). Stick one patch on your skin once a week for three weeks. You will not put a patch on for the fourth weeks. You can use it in four areas of the body: upper back, abdomen, upper outer arm and buttocks. You need a prescription. Condom use is recommended for extra protection.

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Effectiveness: Perfect use 99% -- Typical use 92%

Contraceptive Injection

(photo of the injection needle)

The contraceptive injection has the hormone progestin. It must be injected by a healthcare provider.

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Effectiveness: Perfect use 99% -- Typical use 97%

Benefits of Planning Your Family

When planning a family, you decide when to have a baby. You decide when not to have a baby. You decide how many children to have. You follow a plan.

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Note: An unplanned pregnancy can cause a lot of stress on you and your family. Planning your family can make things much easier.

(page three)

Contraceptive Implant

(image of the implant)

The contraceptive implant releases the hormone progestin. It is inserted under the skin in your upper-arm using local anesthesia. Must be inserted and removed by a healthcare provider.

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Effectiveness: Perfect use 99% -- Typical use 99%

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

(Diagram showing the two types of IUDs and placement for each)

The Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a small "T-shapped" device that is inserted in the uterus. There are two types: 1) the copper one kills sperm and prevents fertilization; 2) the hormonal one makes cervical mucus thicker and prevents the sperm and egg from joining. It must be inserted and removed by a healthcare provider.

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Effectiveness: Perfect use 99% -- Typical use 99%

Condoms

(photo of male and female condoms)

Condoms work as a barrier to prevent sperm from entering the vagina. There are condoms for men and women. Put the condom on before you start having sex and use a new one each time you have sex. Do not use two condoms at the same time.

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Effectiveness: Male: Perfect use 98% -- Typical use 85%
Effectiveness: Female: Perfect use 95% -- Typical use 79%

Spermicides (foams, cream, jellies and suppositories)

(photo of types of spermicides)

Spermicides (foam, cream, jellies and suppositories) kill sperm before they reach the egg. Place it in your vagina before sex. Must apply more spermicide before the next sexual act. More effective if a condom is used at the same time.

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Effectiveness: Perfect use 82% -- Typical use 71%

(back page)

Diaphragm

(photo of a diaphragm)

The diaphragm is made of latex and covers the opening of the uterus blocking he sperm from entering. It is used with spermicidal cream or jelly. You must leave it inside the vagina for six to eight hours after sex. It can remain in place up to 24 hours after sex. You must see a healthcare provider to obtain the correct size. You should have it refitted after gaining or losing 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) or more, after an abortion or after a pregnancy.

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Effectiveness: Perfect use 94% -- Typical use 85%

Cervical Cap

(photos of a latex and silicon cap)

The cervical cap is a small cup made of silicon or latex that fits over the cervix and blocks sperm from entering the uterus. It is used with spermicidal cream or jelly. You must leave it inside the vagina for six to eight hours after sex. It can remain in place up to 48 hours after sex. You must see a healthcare provider to obtain the correct size. You should have it refitted after gaining or losing 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) or more, after an abortion or after a pregnancy.

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Effectiveness: Perfect use 74-91% -- Typical use 60-60%

Sterilization

(diagram showing sterilization locations in a male and a female)

Sterilization (surgery) for women (tubal ligation) and for men (vasectomy) are permanent methods for people who do not want any more children. A woman's tubes (fallopian tubes) are cut or sealed to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus. A man's tube (vas deferens) is cut or sealed to block the release of sperm.

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Effectiveness: Perfect us 99% -- Typical use 99%

Emergency Contraception

(photo of boxes for Plan B and Next Choice)

Emergency contraception delays or prevents the release of an egg. There are different brands. It must be taken as soon as possible after having unprotected sex. You have up to five days, although effectiveness decreases with each passing day. You must get a prescription if you are under 17.

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Funding for this activity was made possible in part by the HHS, Office on Women's Health. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators at HHS-sponsored conferences, do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. 20,000 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $1,536 or $.08 each (3/11)