Couples with kids and no kids, have you ever talked about family planning with your spouse?
There is no doubt that parenthood is one of the most rewarding experiences. It can truly change a couple’s life and fill it with joy and love. But to reach that stage, you must first go through the planning stage, which is no easy feat.
Because it isn’t just tiny clothes and heartwarming ultrasound images; it involves a lot of preparation. This is why couples need to understand the importance of family planning before they embark on this journey.
Family planning is the practice of controlling the number and spacing of children through the use of contraception and other methods. It is an important tool for individuals and couples to make informed decisions about their reproductive health and to achieve their desired family size and timing.
What Are the Common Types of Family Planning Methods in Singapore
According to SMG Women’s Health, one of the most common birth control methods used in Singapore is condoms. Condoms are a barrier method of contraception, which means they physically prevent sperm from reaching an egg. The use of condoms has been found to be effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection during intercourse for both men and women.
Condoms can also reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They can be found at any convenience store or supermarket and are convenient to use. On the other hand, other methods require a prescription from a gynaecologist in Singapore after proper consultation.
There are many contraceptive options Singapore has available. There are 2 major categories.
The first category is temporary methods, while the second category is permanent methods.
1. Temporary Methods
There are many temporary methods, such as condoms and birth control pills. Condoms prevent pregnancy by collecting semen during intercourse and preventing it from entering the vagina. Birth control pills work by preventing ovulation from happening. They do this by using hormones to stop a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs for fertilization each month.
2. Permanent Methods
Permanent methods include tubal ligation (also known as having your tubes tied) and vasectomy (this is where a man’s vas deferens tubes are cut or blocked off). Vasectomies can be reversed, but tubal ligations cannot be reversed once they’ve been done so be sure you’re sure before committing.
In this article, we will discuss family planning – the different methods used and tips to better equip couples in starting or growing their family.
What Are Family Planning Methods?
Family planning methods are tools designed to help people prevent pregnancy and/or plan when they do get pregnant.
The most common family planning methods include oral contraceptives (also known as “the pill”), condoms, diaphragms and cervical caps, IUDs (intrauterine devices), and emergency contraception (the morning-after pill).
It also includes fertility awareness methods (natural family planning) such as tracking your temperature or counting your menstrual cycle days (as well as other natural methods such as breast stimulation), vasectomy surgery for men who do not wish to father any more children but still want sexual relations with their partner(s).
What Is Contraception?
Image source: iStock
Contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy by preventing the release of an egg from the ovary or by preventing sperm from reaching the egg. Many methods of contraception can be used alone or together. For example, a condom, birth control pill, or IUD can be used together to protect against pregnancy. You can also use two forms of contraception at once to help increase effectiveness.
There are many types of contraception, each with its pros and cons. It’s important to know what you’re getting into before you make a decision.
The most common forms of contraception are:
They protect against pregnancy by preventing semen from entering the uterus. They also protect against STDs. Condoms can be used during any sexual activity, including anal or oral sex.
This small dome-shaped device is inserted into the vagina before intercourse to block sperm from entering the uterus. It must be left in place for six hours after sex for maximum effectiveness, but it can be reused for up to two years if cared for properly.
These contain synthetic hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries) and thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. They can also be used as emergency contraception if taken within five days after unprotected sex.
Emergency contraception (morning-after pills)
Emergency contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It can be used up to five days after sex, but should not be used more than once in the same menstrual cycle. Emergency contraception is not effective with other forms of birth control, so you must use a condom if you want protection from STDs or HIV.
The birth control patch is a thin plastic patch that goes on your skin and releases hormones into your body. The hormones prevent ovulation and thicken the cervical mucus so sperm can’t get to an egg.
The patch should be applied to the lower abdomen, buttocks, upper outer arm or upper torso between the breasts. It is removed after three weeks and reapplied after another week (for three weeks).
Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
Another option is an IUD (intrauterine device) inserted into your uterus by your doctor or nurse. It releases hormones that prevent pregnancy and helps with heavy periods. IUDs are long-term contraceptives—they last three to ten years, depending on the type of IUD you choose.
Natural family planning methods:
One type is periodic abstinence, which means that you don’t have sex during certain times of the month.
This method is best for people who can have sex at any time but want to avoid pregnancy. It’s also good for people who aren’t ready to have children but are sexually active. Periodic abstinence is more effective than condoms because it only has to be used during ovulation—which occurs once a month—instead of throughout the entire cycle.
Periodic abstinence can also be used with other methods like condoms or birth control pills. This means that if one method fails during your cycle, the other method will still work when it is time for ovulation again!
This is a time-tested method that has been in use for centuries.
The rhythm method is based on the monthly cycle of a woman’s reproductive system. A woman’s ovulation occurs about 14 days before the next menstrual period. The ovulation period lasts for about 24 hours, and during this time, there is an increased possibility of pregnancy if sexual intercourse takes place during this period.
Therefore, if a couple wants to avoid pregnancy, they should avoid having sexual intercourse during this period.
This method is not very effective as it does not take into account the many variables affecting the menstrual cycle, such as stress levels, irregular cycles due to illness or medication intake etc., which can throw off its effectiveness significantly
Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy. It is often referred to as “getting your tubes tied.”
The procedure involves blocking or cutting the fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. This prevents eggs from travelling through the tubes and being fertilized by sperm.
Tubal ligation is permanent, so it’s important to consider your options carefully before choosing this method of birth control.
Image source: iStock
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra (where semen comes out) are cut or tied off so that sperm cannot travel through them into the ejaculate during orgasm. This prevents pregnancy by ensuring no sperm gets into the vagina during sex.
What Are the Reasons Why People May Use Family Planning
People use family planning for a variety of reasons. Some of them are:
1. To space births
If a couple wants to have children but feels that they don’t want to have too many in a row, then family planning can be used to space out their pregnancies. This is often done by using contraceptives.
Many people use family planning to space out their pregnancies to spend more time with their children before having another one. They may wish to do this because they feel that it’s important for children to have time with both of their parents and not just one at a time.
2. To avoid unwanted pregnancy
One of the goals of family planning is to prevent pregnancy, so it’s no surprise that many people use it with this in mind. However, there are other reasons someone may want to avoid getting pregnant.
For example, some people may not want to have children because they’re still young and want to focus on their education or career first. Others may not be ready financially or emotionally for a child. And then some may have health issues that make it difficult for them to conceive or carry a child to term (such as diabetes).
3. To control the number of children in the family
Family planning is one of the best ways to control your fertility and how many children you have. If you don’t want more than two children, then you can plan your family so that you can have only two babies at most (or one, if you prefer).
You can also decide how far apart you want your babies to be born, so they don’t overlap too much in an age when they grow up together as siblings!
4. To prevent disease or disability in their children
One of the main reasons why people use family planning is to prevent their children from getting sick or disabled. They want to ensure that the child will be healthy and give them a good life, which can only be done by selecting the right contraception method.
5. To improve their health and well-being
One reason is to improve their health and well-being. Family planning helps women avoid pregnancy when they do not want to become pregnant or do not have access to safe abortion services. It also allows them to space pregnancies so they can fully recover between pregnancies and give each child a healthy start.
Family planning also helps couples plan for their future together. Couples who want to have children can use family planning methods to make sure the timing is right for them, while couples who don’t want any more children may use family planning methods to prevent pregnancy altogether.
Importance of Family Planning: What You Must Know
Family planning is not just a fancy word to describe getting pregnant. It is meant to protect women from health risks that may occur before, during, or after childbirth.
These include high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, infections, miscarriage and stillbirth. Women who get pregnant after the age of 35 are even more vulnerable to health risks, so they should be protected through careful planning as well.
This process can also help couples decide what is best for their sexual and reproductive health. As is proved by the voluntary welfare organisation I Love Children’s (ILC) study. It found that most newlyweds in Singapore consider having children within the first three years of marriage but do not think about fertility issues.
The poll of 1,000 respondents found that more than half knew somebody who had difficulty trying for a first or second child. Nearly 70 per cent considered assisted reproduction a “magic bullet” that could solve fertility problems. In addition, long work hours and job stress were cited as obstacles couples faced in getting pregnant.
Considering all of these factors, the importance of family planning methods couldn’t be more critical. Whether you are a young couple in your 20s or somebody who is trying after 35, planning is just as important. But how do you go about it? Let’s find out.
How To Ace The Family Planning Game: Tips For Couples
The first and foremost issue that often stumps the process of planning and conception is– stress. If you have that off the plate, you can hasten the process of conception. Because as you may know, stress alone can also push you towards unhealthy behaviour, which can affect your fertility.
The good news is that even though stress affects fertility, it rarely does in ways that would lead to long-term trouble in getting pregnant. This is why you should already work on ways to bring it under control, especially if you are already stepping into the planning stage.
Here are some family planning methods you and your partner can use to relieve stress and conceive faster. And eventually, kickstart your planning to conception process.
Pay Attention to Each Other’s Health and Fitness
Women expecting or planning to get pregnant should try to become more physically active.
Exercise reduces stress, which numerous studies have shown to block the best conception efforts, and it helps you to sleep better too.
It is, therefore, very important to get a fitness routine before getting pregnant. One can’t ignore that man also need to take care of their health and fitness before they have a baby.
It is important to switch to a healthy diet before you plan to have a baby. A nutritious diet comprises green vegetables, fresh fruits, water, lentils, and multivitamins.
Try and make your plate as colourful as possible. Cut down on junk and processed foods. Avoid the consumption of alcohol or excessive caffeine and increase the intake of unsaturated ‘good’ fats, such as avocados, nuts, oily fish, and seeds.
Couple De-stressing Activities
At this stage, when you are trying, it is very important to spend quality time together. It not only helps you both to bond with each other but also increases your chances of conception. More importantly, this quality time may help you feel less stressed.
However, if you both still feel anxiety, there are several de-stressing activities that you can take up as a couple, such as visiting the spa together. Like oxytocin, the body also releases serotonin and dopamine during a massage. These chemicals increase feelings of affection, well-being, and calmness.
Thus, a massage can boost your mood, help reduce stress, and encourage thoughtful conversations with your significant other.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
There are some relaxation techniques that you can practice daily—for instance, waking up early in the morning and doing yoga or some meditation exercises. Couple yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety and strengthen your bond.
Breaks are very important in life, and we must take frequent breaks for our mental well-being. This is especially true in this post-pandemic life where we’re all cooped up working from our homes. So if you are stressing out about work and facing problems while conceiving, take a break.
You can go on a local vacation or stay home and do nothing. This could also help your mind relax and relieve stress, which can increase your chances of conception.
Difficulty conceiving can lead to emotional trauma and put undue strain on a partnership. Every couple has different ways of coping with grief, anxiety, worry, and other emotions. If required, counselling can help you deal with your emotions better.
Amid all the struggle to become parents, it is important to concentrate on your health and mental well-being. Last but not least, stay connected with the person you love the most – your partner. Once you have stress under control, rest assured your journey to parenthood should be smooth.
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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