What Are Some Family Planning Methods?

Some family planning methods available to women include oral contraceptives, implants, injections, intrauterine devices and female condoms, according to the World Health Organization. A traditional family planning method is the calendar, or rhythm, method. Tubal ligation is a more permanent method of family planning.

Oral contraceptives such as the pill and the minipill are some of the available hormonal family planning methods, according to Womenshealth.gov. The combined oral contraceptive pill contains estrogen and progestin, reports Healthline, and it prevents pregnancy by preventing ovulation. The minipill contains progestin only, as Healthline explains, and it works by thickening the cervical mucous, which blocks the sperm and egg from meeting.

Implants are small rods placed in the upper arm under the skin that work by releasing progestin, as detailed by Healthline. A Depo-Provera shot is a progestin injection in the arm or buttocks that women receive every three months that prevents ovulation and causes changes in the cervix to prevent the sperm and egg from joining, explains Womenshealth.gov.

Intrauterine devices can be hormonal or made from copper, according to Womenshealth.gov. Hormonal intrauterine devices, such as Mirena, release progestin into the uterus. This prevents ovulation, affects implantation and makes it more difficult for the sperm to meet the egg by thickening the cervical mucous.

A copper intrauterine device releases copper into the uterus. This damages the sperm and prevents it from meeting the egg, reports the World Health Organization.

A woman on the calendar method must understand her menstrual cycle and learn to predict her fertile days, reports Womenshealth.gov. She should then abstain from sex on her fertile days to prevent pregnancy. Tubal ligation is a permanent family planning method that involves cutting, tying or blocking the fallopian tubes.