World Population Day is observed on July 11 every year to focus attention on the importance of population issues. The United Nations Development Programme recommended that 11th July be observed by the international community as World Population Day.

Dr Veena H, Senior Medical Consultant, Medlife gives us a concise overview of the methods of family planning:
• Natural Methods
• Barrier methods
• Spermicides
• IUD
• Steroidal Contraception
• Permanent Methods( Tubal Ligation, Vasectomy)

Natural methods
Natural methods are a type of birth control that relies on observations about the woman’s body and menstrual cycle
Types of natural methods of birth control :
• Calendar rhythm method,
• Basal body temperature method
• Cervical mucus examination.
• Ovulation indicator testing kits
• Withdrawal method
• Lactational Infertility

Barrier method:
Condoms (male and female), spermicides, are commonly used.

Intrauterine devices
These are small, flexible frames that are inserted into the uterine cavity. They are sometimes called “fit and forget” contraception because you don’t need to remember it every day or every month.

Types of IUCD
• Inert or Non-Medicated
• Copper IUCD Examples include Copper T, CuT380 A, Multiload 375 etc.
• Hormone-releasing IUDs like Progestasert, LNG 20 (Mirena)

Timing of insertion

After childbirth
• Immediately after delivery of the placenta
• Four to six weeks after childbirth

After spontaneous or induced abortion
• Immediately after 1st-trimester abortion (aseptic).
• After 2nd trimester abortion, it is advisable to wait till involution of uterus is complete.

Menstrual cycle
Can be inserted during the menstrual cycle.

Insertion during menstruation offers the following advantages :
• Pregnancy is ruled out
• Insertion is easy because the cervical canal is open

When should you see a doctor after IUD insertion?
• Missed menstrual period
• Lower abdomen pain / vaginal discharge / fever
• Missing IUD string
• Very heavy and prolonged bleeding that bothers

Steroidal contraceptives
These use hormones to prevent pregnancy. There are many types:
1. ORAL Eg: combined pill, progestin-only pill
2. INJECTABLE Eg: Depoprovera, LNG Rod
3. DEVICES Eg: LNG-IUS, Transdermal patches

You take one pill each day. The pill is more if you take it correctly. There is also Depo Provera injection which one needs to get every three months. If the injections are on time, Depo Provera is more effective.