Choosing the size of one's family by using contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Successful family planning requires not only some form of birth control, but also open communication and some basic sex education. A condom is of little help if it's used improperly or if it's been sabotaged by a partner who feels railroaded into a decision about family size.

Sterilization methods, including tubal ligation and vasectomy, tend to be most effective in family planning but not as easy to reverse if the family changes its mind.

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