Family Planning

Before contraception was invented, women had little control over how fast or how large their family grew. Today, the wide range of available birth control options means you don’t have to worry nearly as much about unintended pregnancy. Family planning empowers you to make the choices that help you have the number of children you want, when you want them. Michigan Avenue Center for Health in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood provides complete family planning services to residents of the Chicagoland area. Call or request an appointment online today.

Family Planning Q & A

What is Family Planning?

Family planning means that you decide how many children you want to have and when you want to have them, then take the necessary steps to make that plan a reality.

Depending on your stage in life, family planning may mean choosing the right form of birth control to help you avoid getting pregnant, or it may mean figuring out how you want to space your pregnancies once you start having a family.

For some women, family planning means taking steps to ensure you no longer can become pregnant once you’re done having children or avoiding any pregnancy with permanent birth control.

Why is Family Planning Important?

Family planning gives you the kind of control over your life path that was unknown to previous generations of women.

When you’re just becoming sexually active, birth control can give you the time you need to think about whether you want to become a parent in the future.

As you grow older, you may ask yourself whether your personal goals leave you with time, energy, and financial resources to start a family. You may also start to formulate a plan for the future to put yourself in a more ideal position to have a family.

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

Family planning also is one of the best ways to avoid unintended pregnancy, so you’re less likely to have to consider other options, such as abortion.


Why is it Healthy to Space Pregnancies?

Research shows that spacing pregnancies very close together can be less healthy. Becoming pregnant less than six months after giving birth is associated with an increased risk of:

Low birth weight
Premature birth
Placental abruption
Congenital disorders

Second-born children also are more likely to have autism if you became pregnant less than 12 months after giving birth to your first child.

What are My Contraception Options?

Finding the right birth control and using it consistently is one of the best ways to manage the timing and number of pregnancies you have. The four main types of contraception offered at Michigan Avenue Center for Health are:

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)
Barrier methods
Permanent birth control
Birth control pills, as well as NuvaRing® - a hormonal vaginal ring that you wear for three weeks at a time They also offer several LARC options, including Mirena® hormone-releasing IUDs, and Nexplanon® implants.