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COLUMN : Contraception & Family Planning: Separating Fact From Fiction

By Dr Aishah Fadila Adamu

Are you considering starting a family, or wanting to delay or space out your pregnancies? Or perhaps you’re looking for ways to manage your menstrual cycle or overall reproductive health? Whatever your goals, understanding contraception and family planning is crucial for taking control of your reproductive well-being.

Family planning means planning when to have children, how many of them to have and the spacing between them. Contraception, on the other hand, refers to methods used to prevent pregnancy. In this column, we’ll explore the various options available and benefits to help you make informed choices.

 

Types of Contraception:

  1. Hormonal Methods (e.g., birth control pills, patches, rings, injections)
  2. Barrier Methods (e.g., condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps)
  3. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
  4. Implants (e.g., Jadelle, Nexplanon)
  5. Sterilization (e.g., vasectomy, tubal ligation)

 

Benefits of Contraception and Family Planning:

  1. Prevents unintended pregnancies
  2. Reduces risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  3. Allows for planned and spaced pregnancies
  4. Helps manage menstrual cycles and related symptoms
  5. Enhances overall reproductive health and well-being

 

Debunking Common Misconceptions:

  1. Myth: Contraception causes infertility.

Reality: Modern contraception methods do not affect fertility. In fact, many methods can help regulate menstrual cycles and improve fertility.

 

  1. Myth: Using contraception means you never want to have children.

Reality: Contraception is for anyone who wants to plan and space their pregnancies, whether they want children eventually or not.

 

  1. Myth: Hormonal contraceptives cause weight gain and mood swings.

Reality: While some women may experience these side effects, they are not universal and often temporary.

 

Remember, contraception and family planning are personal choices, and what works for someone else may not work for you. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best options for your unique needs and circumstances.

 

Take control of your reproductive health today and make informed decisions about your body, relationships, and future. Don’t let misconceptions hold you back!

Send your questions to aishahfadamu@gmail.com

 

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