Family Planning Specialist

Access Health Center

Women's Health Center located in Downers Grove, IL

There was a time, prior to the advent of contraception, when women had little control over how fast or how large their family grew. Now, with so many effective birth control options to choose from, you don’t have to worry nearly as much about unintended pregnancies. Family planning gives you the knowledge and tools you need to have the number of children you want, when you want them. Access Health Care in Downers Grove, Illinois provides complete family planning services to residents of the greater Chicagoland area. Call or book your appointment online today.

Family Planning Q & A

Access Health Center

What is Family Planning?

Simply put, family planning is deciding how many children you want to have and when you want to have them, then taking necessary steps to make that plan a reality.

Depending on where you are in life, family planning may mean finding the right type of contraception to help you avoid pregnancy as you get your college degree or start your career.

It also may mean finding an effective way to space your pregnancies once you start having a family, or taking steps to ensure you can no longer become pregnant once you’re done having children.

For some women, family planning means avoiding any pregnancy, either through the use of birth control or by taking permanent measures.  

What are the Benefits of Family Planning?

Family planning gives today’s women the kind of control over their lives and destinies that was unknown to earlier generations of women.  

When you’re young, taking active family planning measures can give you ample time to think about whether or not parenthood is right for you. Do your personal life goals leave you with the time, energy, and financial resources to start a family? If you know you eventually want to have children, what steps will you need to take to put yourself in a more ideal position to become a parent?

After you’ve started having children, family planning can help you space your pregnancies, so you’re more likely to stay healthy and have healthier babies.

Family planning is also a good way to help you avoid an unintended pregnancy, so you’re less likely to have to consider other options, like adoption or abortion.  

Why is it Healthier to Space Pregnancies?

While you and your partner may want to have children that are close in age, research shows that closely spaced pregnancies may be less healthy. Becoming pregnant less than six months after giving birth has been linked to an increased risk of:

  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Placental abruption
  • Congenital disorders

Pregnancies spaced less than 12 months apart is also associated with an increased risk of autism in second-born children.

Because pregnancy and breastfeeding can deplete your nutrient stores, closely spaced pregnancies may not give you enough time to recover your own health.

What are My Birth Control Options?

Using the contraception method that matches your personal needs is one of the best ways to control the timing and number of pregnancies you have. The five main categories of birth control are:

  • Hormonal methods
  • Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)
  • Barrier methods
  • Emergency contraception
  • Permanent birth control

The doctors at Access Health Center offer birth control pills as well as NuvaRing®, a hormonal vaginal ring that you wear for three weeks at a time.

They also provide a range of LARC devices, including Mirena® hormone-releasing IUDs.