If you are sexually active, but not ready to be a mom, it's imperative that you know ways to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. Of course you love kids, but that doesn't mean you want one of your own right now. Being smart and prepared means you won't find yourself in a scary situation and will not be facing parenthood before you're ready. So here are some ways to avoid an unplanned pregnancy.
1. KNOW YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE
The most important of the many ways to avoid an unplanned pregnancy is to know your cycle. Your menstrual cycle starts from the first day of menstruation to the first day of the next menstruation.You have to study your menstrual cycle for at least 6 months consistently to be sure of yours. Menstrual cycle ranges from 21-35 day in women and 21-45 days in teens.The average menstrual cycle for most women is approximately 28 days.
2. KNOW YOUR OVULATION PERIOD
Ovulation is the time when a woman is most fertile. Most couples planning on getting pregnant are advised to try for a baby during this period. Ovulation occurs on the 14th day of your menstrual cycle in most cases. Signs of ovulation include slight cramping or pain on one side of your pelvis, increased sex drive, light spotting, changes in cervical mucus and breast soreness. The ovulation period is not a safe time to have unprotected sex if you are not planning for a baby. Avoid unprotected sex 3 days before and 3 days after ovulation for the most safety.
3. KNOW YOUR SAFE PERIOD
This is the time where there is the least chance of getting pregnant. For example, a woman with a 28-day menstrual cycle who menstruates for 5 days, is said to be safe on the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th day of her cycle, but unsafe on her 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th day. Days 18 through 27 are also considered to be her safe period. However, the best way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy is to use birth control or condoms.
4. USE TWO or MORE Types of BIRTH CONTROL
Some experts recommend using two or more birth control methods to be on the safe side. You might use birth control and also a condom, for example. Do not depend on only one method because none of them are 100% guaranteed to prevent pregnancy! There should always be a back up plan. The morning after pill could also be used in extreme emergencies when no birth control measures were used.
5. GET a CALENDAR and a NOTEBOOK
To avoid mistakes and miscalculations, always have a calendar to check your menstrual cycle and a notebook to jot it down. Do not leave room for any form of error.
6. KNOW YOUR BODY
The changes that occur in your body will give you an idea of what might be happening in your system. Therefore it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the changes that may occur. For example, noting any abnormalities, such as absence of menstruation, heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding between periods etc. Talk to your doctor if anything weird is going on.
7. KNOW YOUR PARTNER
For sexually active women, it is very important to know your partner enough to trust him with your body. To prevent unplanned pregnancies, there should be an agreement and a decision between both the woman and her partner about avoiding pregnancy and how it's going to be done.
This is simply abstaining from sex, which is considered the best way to prevent unplanned pregnancies.