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Personal Stories About Choosing Birth Control Methods - Topic Overview

Intrauterine device (IUD)

Sarah, age 22, and Pete, age 23: When my parents were killed in a car wreck, I became the guardian of my younger brothers and sisters. I'm now working and finishing my last year of college. Pete and I have been together since high school and have depended on the Pill to prevent pregnancy. Now I need a method that will really be reliable for the long term. The youngest in my family is 12 so I will need to provide for her for at least 6 more years. I've decided to use an IUD so that I won't need to worry about getting pregnant until my life is more settled.

Sophia, age 30, and Hank, age 37: I just started my medical residency program. Life is so busy with the kids' activities, study time, and the hours I work at the hospital. Hank has been so great about being the primary parent when I can't. Hank and I had a serious talk about what to use for birth control for the next 2 to 3 years until I graduate. We're not sure that we are done with our family, but we do want a reliable method so that the next few years aren't complicated by an unexpected pregnancy. Hormonal methods have not worked well for me in the past, so an IUD seems the best choice for long-term reliability.

Fertility awareness

Cindy, age 34, and David, age 33: All through college and graduate school, I used different methods of birth control because I was most concerned about an unplanned pregnancy. Now David and I both have steady jobs, and we're building our home in the country. We still hope to travel this summer, so we've decided to try to plan a pregnancy for later this year. Natural family planning will work for us, because my cycles are regular. If I get pregnant sooner than we planned, it'll be fine.

Jen, age 32, and Sam, age 36: Sam and I taught overseas for 3 years. Before returning home, we had the chance to adopt an orphan in the village where we were working. Sam and I would like to have another child at some point so Lily will have a sibling. We thought about using natural family planning, but we need time to get settled with our jobs and get Lily adjusted to day care. We don't want a surprise pregnancy. I'm going to use a progestin IUD until we're ready to expand our family. Then we can use fertility awareness to help us get pregnant.

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