A woman is faced with many important decisions once she becomes a parent—and one of them is the choice to have another child, or, in some cases, to not have one. Among the reasons why individuals and couples delay conception and therefore practice contraception are timing, spacing, or health and financial difficulties. As Esmeraldo Ilem, M.D., a perinatologist at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital and head of the Comprehensive Family Planning Service, explains, “They may have reasons related to employment, desire for a smaller family, previous difficult delivery, or marital problems.” Sylvia Estrada Claudio, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Women and Development Studies and director of the University Center for Women’s Studies in UP Diliman adds, “Or you might not even be married and don’t have any intention of marrying the person you are sexual with.”
Dr. Ilem cites four guiding principles of family planning in the Philippines, namely 1) respect for life; 2) responsible parenthood; 3) informed choice; and 4) birth spacing of least three years. “Family planning is an intervention to promote women’s health, more so for women who are at high risk to develop complications or even die during pregnancy.”
Read on to learn more about the different methods under natural and artificial contraception, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.