More than simply birth control, family planning happens when a couple decides how many children they want and when they will be born. This includes birth control, or contraception, as a means of delaying pregnancy. Family planning services also include many more health care topics. Family Medicine Associates of Alexandria provides such services as:
While the birth control pill remains the most used contraceptive method for women, along with female sterilization and condoms, long-acting reversible methods such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants are gaining popularity. This may be due to changes in guidelines for the use of these options to include women of younger ages and those without children, two groups for whom these methods were previously not recommended.
Hormonal contraceptives use estrogen and progestin, either together or progestin only, to regulate the fertility of the patient. These contraceptives take the form of pills, patches, vaginal rings, injections, implants, and some IUDs. In most cases, no side effects occur with contemporary formulations, or, if they do, these pass in a few months. Side effects include:
Much depends on a patient’s response to a particular contraceptive method. Switching to a different product or formulation may clear up any symptoms. With birth control pills, daily use is important, since missed pills may be associated with side effects. Progestin-only pills must be taken daily, and at the same time each day, for best effect.
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