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.
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.
Combination of methods
Deena, age 26: My older sister gave me lots
of advice about birth control methods. She tried several reliable methods but
ended up with genital herpes. Whenever she gets stressed, she'll get a flare-up
of symptoms. From her experience, I've decided to use hormonal injections along with
condoms to reduce my risk of getting pregnant or getting an STI.
Patty, age 42: I never would have guessed I
might need to worry about birth control again, just as I never would have
guessed I would be a widow at such a young age. The kids are almost out of high
school. Someone at work asked me out, and I'm actually interested. But alarms
are going off in my head about becoming pregnant at age 42 or getting an STI.
I'm sure I don't want either, so I'm seeing my gynecologist this week to decide
on a long-term birth control method and learn about using condoms.