Family Planning Resources

Family Planning

Much research is still necessary to help family planning methods become foolproof. Sometimes no matter how carefully a method is used, it doesn’t work for its intended purpose. But even now there are so many largely effective ways to minimize your chances of conceiving a baby, when… that is your choice, when it is a well-informed choice, and one that you exercise with care and diligence at all times. And one reason that equality is so important in male-female relationships is that family planning is most likely to work as intended in a genuinely equal relationship. Sobering statistic: without using any method at all, the average couple has a very high–85%–chance of starting a pregnancy and a baby.

Just as strongly, we advocate prevention and treatment of rape and incest to empower people with the right of voluntary family planning.

Birth Control Methods: How Well Do They Work?. (English, Spanish.) From TeensHealth.

EngenderHealth: Family Planning. Oriented to health care workers, especially in the Two-Thirds World. Covers informed consent, as well as integration of family planning with HIV/AIDS services.

Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers. (Current availability: Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili.) “Published by the INFO Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This handbook, one of the World Health Organization’s Family Planning Cornerstones, provides evidence-based guidance developed through worldwide collaboration. It offers clinic-based health care professionals in developing countries the latest guidance on providing contraceptive methods.” Now available in print and online. Make a Ten-Dollar Bill Go Farther Than You Ever Imagined–and Save Lives While You’re at It! $10 will pay for one print copy of the handbook for a health care worker in the Two Thirds World. To give, please click here. Appendix A of the Handbook has a chart comparing the effectiveness of different family planning methods.

ReproLine (Reproductive Health Online): Family Planning. (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian.) Oriented to health care educators and other professionals. But this information is here for anyone who wants it, presented in five widely used languages and often applicable to “low-resource” (materially poorer) settings.

How Emergency Contraception Works. (English, Spanish, French, Arabic.) The Emergency Contraception website argues the evidence that the “morning after” pill is a genuine contraceptive.

Mechanisms of the Contraceptive Action of Hormonal Methods and Intrauterine Devices (IUDs). (English, Spanish.) From Family Health International. Written originally to dispel myths circulating in Latin America.

Oral Contraceptive Controversy. The American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists is divided on whether oral contraceptives act as abortifacients. The authors of Hormone Contraceptives Controversies and Clarifications argue convincingly that these are preventive methods.

Abstinence. (English, Spanish.) From TeensHealth.

Age of Consent and Casual Sex. From the HIV/AIDS charity AVERT.

ETR Associates: Abstinence. (English, some Spanish). Selection of abstinence pamphlets from a “comprehensive” sex ed approach. Free online views available; free print samples may be available. From the catalog of a leading nonprofit publisher of health education brochures, booklets, and other materials.

Tips for Contraceptive Success. No method of birth control is 100% effective (not yet!), but there’s a lot you can do in the meantime to boost your odds of preventing unintended pregnancy. Especially since user error is the number one cause when contraceptives don’t work!

The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method. Excellent article from, a generally wonderful sex ed resource. (And there are also ways to *triple up* on contraception…just use your imagination, that’s what it’s for…)

Many Clients Need Dual Protection. “Dual protection” or “double Dutch” is what health workers call a variant on the “buddy system” that’s popular in Holland. It is a combination of the pill with male condoms to prevent both sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy. No wonder the Dutch abortion rate is so comparatively low. From Family Health International. Oriented to health workers (but if you’re not one, you can still read it!)