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close this bookWhere Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)
close this folderChapter 13: Family Planning
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBenefits of Family Planning
View the documentIs Family Planning Safe?
View the documentChoosing to Use Family Planning
Open this folder and view contentsChoosing a Family Planning Method
Open this folder and view contentsBarrier Methods of Family Planning
Open this folder and view contentsHormonal Methods of Family Planning hormones
Open this folder and view contentsIntra-Uterine Devices (Devices that go into the womb)
Open this folder and view contentsNatural Methods of Family Planning
View the documentTraditional and Home Methods to Prevent Pregnancy
View the documentPermanent Methods of Family Planning
View the documentEmergency Methods of Family Planning
View the documentChoosing the Best Method
View the documentWorking for Change

Choosing the Best Method

After reading this chapter, if you still have questions about which family planning method is best for you, the chart below may help. It is important to choose a method that meets your needs, because then you will be likely to use it regularly and it will be more effective.

Personal Needs

You Might Prefer

You Should Probably Avoid

Your partner is not willing to take an active role in family planning.

Hormonal methods, diaphragm, female condom, IUD

Male condoms, natural methods

Other bleeding, besides your normal monthly bleeding, worries you or creates difficulties for you.

Barrier methods, IUD

Hormonal methods

You do not want any more children.

Sterilization, implants, IUD, injections

Natural methods, barrier methods

No matter what you say, your partner does not want you to use family planning.

Injections, inserts, lUDs

Barrier methods, pills, natural methods

You feel embarrassed to touch your vagina.

Hormonal methods, male condoms

Diaphragm, female condoms

You do not feel comfortable asking your partner to avoid or to interrupt sex.

IUD, hormonal methods

Barrier methods, natural methods

Your are concerned that your partner has had sex with others and may infect you with STDs

Male or female condom, or other methods combined with condoms

IUD, hormonal methods

You have more than one sex partner or have had STDs.

Male or female condom


You think you will want to have a child within a year

Male or female condom, diaphragm, natural methods, combined or progestin-only pills

IUD, injections, implants

You are breastfeeding.

IUD, male or female condoms, diaphragm with spermicide, mini pill, progestin-only injections

Combined birth control pills, injections with estrogen

You have not had a child.

Hormonal methods, barrier methods


You do not want to have to remember to do anything.

IUD, implants, injections

Birth control pills, natural methods

After you choose a new method