Family planning and contraception

For a new couple to start a family, one of the husband's sperms needs to reach and fertilize the wife's egg. If you are both ready to proceed with a family, you need to know which days of the month you are most fertile and concentrate your efforts to conceive around this time. Alternatively, if you are not prepared to have a family, here in AAFC, we recommend the following methods of contraception.

  • What contraception methods are available in AAFC?

    The contraception methods that we recommend include:

    • Long-acting reversible contraception: This type of contraception method is very effective in preventing pregnancy and convenient, as you do not have to worry if you forget to take a pill, or after a condom failure. An example of this type of contraception is the Intra-Uterine Device (IUD), which lasts for five years or more, and it can be easily reversed, when you are ready to have a family.

    • Hormonal contraception: It is one of the most popular methods and it is widely known as the pill. This contains a mix of the hormones estrogen and progestogen, which can effectively block pregnancy. Hormonal contraception comes in the form of (1) the classic pill, which has to be taken daily (2) a vaginal ring, which needs renewing every month, and (3) patches, which must be changed every week. Here in AAFC, we also offer aprogestogen-only daily contraceptive pill, which you may either prefer or have to take, because of a medical condition where estrogens are contraindicated. Hormonal contraceptives are more than 99% effective in pregnancy prevention, when they are taken as instructed.

    • Barrier methods: This method of contraception stops sperms from entering the womb with the use of a physical barrier, such as a diaphragm for women or the male / female condoms. The diaphragm must be covered in spermicide and inserted in the vagina every time before intercourse. Condoms collect the semen before it enters the vagina, but they can also protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

    • Fertility awareness: With this method, you learn to observe and record your body's signs on each day of your menstrual cycle, taking them into account for planning intercourse with your spouse. Specifically, you need to be aware of: (1) your body's temperature (slightly higher during ovulation), (2)your cervical fluid secretions (clearer during ovulation), and (3) the length of your menstrual cycle. Learning to identify these signs every month can help calculate accurately the day of your ovulation. This usually coincides with the middle of your cycle, and this is when you need to be careful or abstain from intercourse.

    Depending on your individual circumstances and your method of choice for contraception, our doctors and midwives, here in AAFC, can advise you on anything you may need.