Contraception & Family Planning
Family Planning Services
Family planning services are an important aspect of well-woman visits during the reproductive years. Whether your current objective is to prevent pregnancy, or you are ready to start or expand your family, your healthcare provider offers valuable support to help you along your path.
Types of Contraceptive Methods
Any woman who is sexually active can benefit from a strong relationship with her healthcare provider. Birth control has evolved a great deal, and this provides women with the opportunity to tailor this aspect of healthcare to her exact needs, as well as her preferences. The volume of contraceptive options can create confusion. We are here to help you sort through them to find the method that is right for you.
- Condoms are a contraceptive option that requires no prescription. While condoms can minimize the risk of sexually transmitted disease, this method is generally not considered effective for pregnancy prevention.
- Oral contraceptives. Birth control pills prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation. More than that, the consumption of properly dosed hormones also thins the uterine lining and thickens cervical mucus, further blocking pregnancy. Several types of oral contraceptive are available today. Your healthcare provider makes recommendations based on your medical history and health data. For birth control pills to work, they must be taken as directed.
- Vaginal ring. The use of a vaginal ring may be appropriate for women who do not want to take birth control on a daily basis. This method of contraception works in the same manner as oral contraceptives but differs in the delivery of pregnancy-preventing hormones. The vaginal ring stays in place for 3 weeks. When it is removed, menses will occur.
- The intrauterine device, or IUD, is a long-term contraception method that requires insertion by a physician. There are two types of IUDs, which your healthcare provider will explain if this method is appropriate for your needs.
Preconception Visit – Planning for Pregnancy
For centuries, women have been getting pregnant and having babies. Why is it that now we are concerned with a mother’s health before she becomes pregnant?
Research has determined that a woman’s health status prior to conception is a guide for her impending pregnancy. Preconception care enables you and your healthcare provider to identify any risks about which you would otherwise be unaware. The proactive steps that are taken from this care are intended to support the vital first weeks of fetal development.
You can receive a preconception health assessment once you decide you want to conceive, up to a year in advance of pregnancy. During this visit, your healthcare provider will evaluate your medical history and general health. Recommendations for nutrition, sleep, stress management, and dietary supplementation may all be made at this time. You can also learn how to chart ovulation and menstruation cycles so you better understand how to increase your opportunities to conceive naturally.
How Does Weight Affect Pregnancy?
A healthy weight is an important factor to a successful pregnancy. Studies have demonstrated that excess weight poses pregnancy risks including gestational diabetes, preterm birth, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and more. Increased fetal growth due to obesity may cause a woman to need a cesarean section, and it increases the risk of birth injury. The risk of neural tube defects is also increased with obesity.
An underweight woman is also at risk for pregnancy complications, including preterm birth and low birth-weight. Babies who do not develop optimally are at risk during delivery and well after. Research suggests that low birth-weight babies are more likely to develop behavior or health problems during childhood and that these may extend into adulthood.
Other Factors That Affect Pregnancy
Lifestyle and environmental factors can impact the development of a healthy fetus. We advise mothers who intend to become pregnant to avoid alcohol and smoking. The first trimester is a crucial time for the growing fetus since mother is the primary source of nourishment. The presence of toxic chemicals in the body creates an immediate pregnancy risk, so cessation should occur well in advance, if possible.
A woman may avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, but she also needs to know that hazards may be present in her home or work environment. During preconception care, we can discuss what to look for in your home and garden, as well as at work, to stop unknown exposure to radiation, solvents, pesticides, mercury, and other caustic substances.
Schedule A Consultation
Grace Obstetrics & Gynecology provides friendly, professional care to women from Fort Worth, Cleburne, Willow Park, Granbury and surrounding areas. If you have any questions or concerns about family planning or contraception methods, contact us below.