Contraception is the deliberate use of artificial methods or other techniques to prevent pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse. Family planning is about deciding when and how many children you want to have. It is best when a couple makes these important decisions together.
It also means that when you are not ready to have a baby, you chose a way to prevent an unintended pregnancy using contraceptive methods. Young people have the right to family planning services and you can visit a government clinic or health centre.
Natural or traditional methods like withdrawal and village herbs are less effective than modern methods of family planning like condoms, the pill, injections, a loop or IUD. Each method of contraception has its own advantages, disadvantages, and effectiveness rates. Planning your family with your partner means that you actually sit down and discuss these choices and that you choose to have safer sex.
There are a lot of things to think about and discuss when it comes to choosing the right method of family planning for you, such as: How often do you have sexual intercourse? Do you want to take a pill every day? Do you want to hide your sex life from your parents? Is your partner willing to be involved in the use of the family planning method? How often do you need to get refills and can you get them? What will it cost, if anything? Is it reversible? But remember, there is only one method of contraception that will protect you from unintended pregnancy HIV AND other STIs – condoms.
Family planning clinics and many pharmacies will also provide emergency contraceptive pills if you had unprotected sexual intercourse within the last 3 days.
Find out your family planning options at your nearest health facilities.