Whether you are single or have a family, it is a wise choice to plan pregnancies. Although pregnancy is a normal phenomenon, it entails vast physiological, social, emotional and psychological changes to a woman.

Birth spacing will give time for the woman to fully recover from the stress of the previous pregnancy and will give her enough time to enjoy motherhood and look after her new baby. This also allows the couple to plan financial concerns of raising a new member of the family.

To a single woman who is not yet ready to settle down, it will free you from the frustrations brought about by an unplanned pregnancy and give you more time to explore opportunities as a single person.

There are several methods used for contraception like: the barrier method using male or female condoms, diaphragm or spermicides; hormonal contraceptives in the form of mini pills, injectables, implants or patch and the morning after pill; intrauterine method with the use of the intrauterine device and surgical method of sterilization like tubal ligation for females and vasectomy for males; and also the method of abortion.

Natural methods like calendar method, lactational amenorrhea, mucus method, basal body temperature, spinbarkeit method and abstinence are also effective ways if done properly and discipline is observed by both the couple.

In choosing a contraceptive consider the following guidelines before making a decision:

1. First thing to do is keep track of your menstrual cycle so you would know if the natural method will work for you as this is with the least side effects. Most of the natural methods are applicable to regular cycled women only.

2. Ask your mom, sister or friend what method they used to have an idea what methods work. Remember however, that different methods have varying outcomes on different individuals.

3. Be honest with yourself; if you have multiple partners a condom should always be handy.

4. A spermicide or diaphragm may be safe to use if you only have one partner and is not at risk of having sexually transmitted diseases. If, however, you experience allergic reactions, consider other options.

5. You may consider the Nuva Ring, a small ring placed inside the vagina for three weeks. It releases pill like hormones that will prevent ovulation.

6. Try the patch, this is very convenient and is worn like an adhesive plaster over the legs or the arms or anywhere convenient for you. This releases pill like hormones that also prevent ovulation.

7. Or you can take the old school mini pill, what is inconvenient with the mini pill is when you miss it twice in a row, you are at risk of becoming pregnant.

And it also has several side effects. If you are with hypertension, diabetes, kidney or liver disorder, you cannot take the mini pill.

After having explored your options, it’s now time to go to your health provider to ask for a professional opinion. In case you have tried one and you feel it does not suit you, you can always try other means until you find the most comfortable and efficient method for you.