200 Family Planning
Once you have decided to use family planning, you must
choose a method. To make a good decision you must first
learn about the different methods, and their advantages and
There are 5 main types of family planning methods:
• Barrier methods, which prevent pregnancy by keeping the
sperm from reaching the egg.
• Hormonal methods, which prevent the woman’s ovary
from releasing an egg, make it harder for the sperm to
reach the egg, and keep the lining of the womb from
supporting a pregnancy.
• IUDs, which prevent the man’s sperm from fertilizing the
• Natural methods, which help a woman know when she is
fertile, so that she can avoid having sex at that time.
• Permanent methods. These are operations which make it
impossible for a man or a woman to have any children.
These methods of family planning are described on the following pages. As you read
about each method, here are some questions you may want to consider:
• How well does it prevent pregnancy (its effectiveness)?
• How well does it protect against STIs, if at all?
• How safe is it? If you have any of the health problems mentioned in this
chapter, you may need to avoid some types of family planning methods.
• How easy is it to use?
• Is your partner willing to use family planning?
• What are your personal needs and concerns? For
example, do you have all the children you want, or are
you breastfeeding your baby?
• How much does the method cost?
• Is it easy to get? Will you need to visit a health
• Will the side effects (the problems the method may cause)
create difficulties for you?
After reading about these methods, you can get more help
with choosing one starting on page 224. It may also help to
talk with your partner, other women, or a health worker about
Only you can decide which family
planning method is right for you.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012