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If you are sexually active
Becoming a mother might be the last thing on your mind right now. But you should set some goals about having (or not having) children — especially if you are sexually active. This is called a reproductive life plan, and it also involves knowing what actions you will take to support your goals. Your personal values and beliefs will help you make your plan. See some examples below:
"I'm not ready to have children now. I will make sure I don't get pregnant by not having sex or using birth control correctly every time I have sex."
"I will wait to start having sex until after I'm married. I won't get pregnant until that time. Once I'm married, my husband and I will decide together when it's the right time for us to start a family."
"I would like to have two children, at least two years apart in age. I also have diabetes. I will meet with my doctor now to discuss my preconception health. I will start trying to get pregnant as soon as I'm healthy. I will use birth control after my first baby to make sure I don't get pregnant again before I am ready."
"I want to finish school and be financially secure before starting a family. My husband and I will use an effective birth control all the time until we have met our goals and are ready to start a family."
"I will let pregnancy happen whenever it happens. Because I don't know when that time will be, I'll make sure that my body is healthy and ready for pregnancy at all times."
Explore other publications and websites
Birth Control and Family Planning — There are a number of birth control methods available, and there are many factors to consider before choosing one. This fact sheet discusses each option’s cost, effectiveness, availability, and more.
Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs) (Copyright © Planned Parenthood Federation of America) — This publication explains the different ways that a woman can chart when she is the most fertile, when she has ovulated, and when she will be least likely to conceive.
How to Get Pregnant (Copyright © Mayo Foundation) — This fact sheet provides information that will help you understand when you are most fertile, what you can do to maximize your fertility, and when to visit a doctor.
Natural Family Planning (Copyright © American Academy of Family Physicians) — This online publication provides information on natural family planning, how it works, its success rate, and its advantages.
Connect with other organizations
American Academy of Family Physicians
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
March of Dimes
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Content last updated September 27, 2010.
Resources last updated September 27, 2010.
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