Reproductive life plan
Reproductive Life Plan
A reproductive life plan is a set of personal goals about whether or not to have children and how to achieve those goals. It includes questions like “ Do you want to have children?” or “Do you want to have (more) children?” or “How many (more) children would you like to have and when?”
Creating a reproductive life plan reduces the risk of unintended pregnancy and helps couples prepare physically and emotionally for pregnancy. A reproductive life plan is not just for women, it’s for men too.
We don’t often talk about how men should prepare for pregnancy, but they should prepare for pregnancy. Smoking, alcohol, drugs, excessive caffeine, poor diet, and testicular hyperthermia (I see you skinny jeans) can cause damage to sperm. Men should work on improving diet, changing lifestyle habits, and get as healthy as possible prior to conception.
If you do want a baby, how do know when to discontinue your birth control method?
The length of time prior to resumption of your period will vary based on the type of hormonal contraceptive you used. Women who used an oral contraceptive may resume a period within a month or two after discontinuing.
If you used an implant or injection you may not have a period for several months! This is normal.
The main takeaway is this: it’s possible for ovulation to occur immediately after discontinuing a contraceptive or it can take several months. If you want to discontinue your contraceptive, but aren’t quite ready to get pregnant, use a barrier method, like condoms, in the interim. Some providers may strongly recommend using a barrier method for a set period of time until your menses have regulated to ensure proper dating of a potential pregnancy. This is not evidence-based. You can be reassured that there is no association with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion or congenital anomalies if ovulation occurs quickly after discontinuing a contraceptive. Just make sure you’re taking a prenatal vitamin!