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Understanding Family Planning

Women and men have more options than ever regarding the type and size of families that they can build. If you’ve been thinking about starting a family, finishing your family, or adding to it, family planning can help.

As women’s health specialists, Maria Cole, APRN, FNP-C, and Kelly Wenger, APRN, FNP-C of Maria Cole Family Practice in Odessa, Texas, can help you build your ideal family. Whether you want to delay pregnancy, start your family today, or resolve fertility issues, it all starts with an in-depth consultation.

Could you benefit from a family planning consultation? Our nurse practitioners provide the answers below.

You’re not quite ready for a(nother) baby

If you’d like to delay pregnancy, we can help you decide on the best type of contraception for your needs. In your consultation, we spend time talking about how often you need birth control and whether you’d like something semi-permanent.

You may already know that you’d like to have a baby within the next couple of years, but not just now. That information helps us guide you toward a semi-permanent, but easily reversible, type of contraception, such as an intrauterine device (IUD). 

Or, you may have a baby now and would like to prevent another pregnancy in the next six months but don’t want to use any hormones. Our NPs teach you how breastfeeding (exclusively) your baby on a regular schedule may prevent a second pregnancy.

Some options for contraception include:

If you also need protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), we recommend condoms along with other types of contraception.

You’d like to get pregnant ASAP

When you’re ready to welcome a new life into the world, we help you prepare. We conduct a series of tests that identify any problems ahead of time, so that we can treat or manage them to give you the best chances of conceiving.

For instance, if you’re either underweight or overweight, we help you achieve a healthy, stable weight through a series of lifestyle changes. We also recommend taking a folic acid supplement to prevent neural tube defects in your baby. 

We test you for STDs and other types of infections, and clear them before you try to get pregnant. If you have a family history of genetic diseases, we refer you to a specialist if you’d like to be tested for those, too.

You’re having trouble getting pregnant

If you’re a woman who’s been trying to get pregnant for a year (or for six months if you’re over 35), we can help. Through a comprehensive exam and a series of tests, we identify the factors behind your infertility.

Depending on the results of our investigation, we may recommend hormone therapy to balance your hormones and stimulate the production of eggs. We also perform intrauterine insemination at the Maria Cole Family Practice office, if necessary. If your case is complicated, we refer you to a fertility specialist.

You’ve finished your family

If you’ve decided that you don’t want to have any more children, our nurse practitioners may discuss permanent sterilization with you. The simplest type of sterilization is male sterilization, otherwise known as vasectomy.

Women who’d like to undergo sterilization themselves can choose tubal ligation, commonly referred to as “tying your tubes.” As with vasectomy, there’s a postoperative period during which you could still get pregnant. Your nurse practitioner lets you know when it’s safe to discontinue other forms of birth control.

You don’t have to leave your family to chance. At Maria Cole Family Practice, we help you plan your ideal family size and timing. Set up a family planning consultation by calling our team at 432-200-9087 or use our online message form.

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