When it comes to family planning, there are many options to choose from. As a result, it can be challenging to select the best approach for your situation. By reviewing the pros and cons of each method, though, you can make an informed decision. Here is a brief guide to the five main types to get you started.

A Quick Guide to Family Planning

1. The Barrier Approach

This form of birth control blocks the sperm from reaching the egg, thereby preventing fertilization. Examples include male and female condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and spermicidal foam. These methods are only used during intercourse. 

2. Hormonal Methods

Hormonal birth control inhibits the ovaries from releasing eggs. When there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize, pregnancy cannot occur. Common hormonal approaches include the pill, patch, and vaginal ring. Hormonal implants and injections are also available.

3. IUDs

family planningThere are two kinds of intrauterine devices (IUDs): hormonal and copper. Both are implanted into the uterus and prevent pregnancy by keeping sperm from reaching the egg. Hormonal IUDs stop the ovaries from releasing eggs and thicken cervical mucus to impede sperm. Copper IUDs release copper ions into the cervix, making it an inhospitable environment for sperm.  

4. The Rhythm Method

Couples who rely on the rhythm method avoid having intercourse when the woman is most likely fertile. An average woman who menstruates regularly can theoretically only get pregnant for a few days every month. Since many factors affect ovulation, though, this approach is less reliable than the others. 

5. Surgery 

Men who want a permanent form of birth control can undergo a vasectomy, which keeps the semen free of sperm. Likewise, women can opt to undergo a tubal litigation, which prevents eggs from moving through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. 


If you want to learn more about family planning, turn to Greece Obstetrics and Gynecology. Serving Rochester, NY, and the surrounding areas, this warm and welcoming practice has been treating women of all ages throughout the community for over 30 years, offering everything from contraception and breast examinations to bone density screenings and menopausal management. They also keep up with the latest advancements in the field, such as robotic surgery. Visit the website to learn more about their services, or call (585) 225-6680 to make an appointment today.