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VA Connecticut Healthcare System

 

Women's Health: Maternity Care

Whether you're ready to start or expand your family or interested in preventing pregnancy, VA offers a full range of services to support your reproductive goals. Talk to your provider.

Whether you're ready to start or expand your family or interested in preventing pregnancy, VA offers a full range of services to support your reproductive goals. Talk to your provider.

By Women Veterans Health Care
Saturday, December 1, 2018

VA is supportive of women veterans deciding when motherhood is right for them. Whether you’re ready to start or expand your family or interested in preventing pregnancy, VA offers a full range of services for you to support your reproductive goals.

Are you ready to start or expand your family?

Women veterans deserve the best care anywhere, and you can receive all of your pregnancy care at VA. A planned pregnancy is a healthier pregnancy, so talk to your provider today if you want to become pregnant. VA provides eligible women with prenatal and preconception (pre-pregnancy) care, maternity care services and seven (7) days of newborn care. 

To learn more about preconception care and preparing for pregnancy, please visit the Healthy Pregnancy page. On this site, you will find a healthy checklist, reproductive life plan and other resources for your pregnancy. 

Are you having a difficult time getting pregnant?

VA understands that some women may need assistance getting pregnant. VA offers infertility services including patient counseling, infertility assessment, and some infertility treatment. These services can guide you through this process, help with infertility and provide emotional support.

Do you not want to become pregnant?

VA knows that some women want to prevent pregnancy….at least for now. VA offers a wide-variety of birth control options including implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), shots, pills and barrier methods. If you’re interested in preventing pregnancy, talk to your VA provider to determine the best birth control option for your lifestyle. If your contraception fails or you have unprotected intercourse, VA offers emergency contraception options to reduce your risk for an unplanned pregnancy. 

Things to think about when choosing a birth control method include: future pregnancy plans, your relationship or partner status, and your general medical health. It is important to tell your provider about your medical history, as certain conditions or medications may make some birth control methods better options than others. Some birth control methods (contraceptives) offer other health benefits in addition to pregnancy prevention and planning. Certain birth control methods can help you have a regular menstrual cycle, reduce menstrual flow, reduce acne, reduce cramps, or lower your risk of ovarian cancer.

 

Type of Contraception

Pregnancies among 100 women in 1 year

Facts

Sterilization

  • Tubal ligation
  • Tubal implant

Vasectomy (for male partner)

 

Less than 1

Sterilization procedures are permanent. Only choose sterilization when you are certain that you do not want another pregnancy now or in the future.

IUD

  • Copper-T IUD
  • LnG progesterone IUD

 

1

 

Less than 1

Inserted by a provider in the office. Highly effective and good for 10 (copper T) or 5 years (LnG). Have removed when ready for pregnancy.

Progesterone implant

Less than 1

One soft rod placed under skin of upper arm by a provider in the office. Good for 3 years. Have removed when ready for pregnancy.

Progesterone shot

1

Provider gives shot once every 3 months. Return to regular periods can take a long time. Choose a different method if you are planning pregnancy in the next 1-2 years.

Hormone methods with estrogen and progesterone (pill, patch ring)

5

Take a pill once a day at the same time OR place a patch once a week on your skin OR place a soft silicone ring in the vagina once a month and remove after 3 weeks.,All require a prescription from your provider.

Barrier methods

  • Diaphragm
  • Cervical cap*‡
  • Sponge‡
  • Female condom
  • Male condom
  • Spermicides

 

  • 15
  • 17-23
  • 6-32
  • 20
  • 11-16
  • 30

Barrier methods are the least effective at preventing pregnancy. To work, they have to be used with every act of sexual intercourse. Using two barrier methods together (like a condom with a diaphragm or sponge) provides better pregnancy protection.

*Must be used with spermicide and must be left in place for 6 hours after sex. ‡With these methods, higher rates of pregnancy occur in women who have had a baby before.

 For more information, speak to your provider or contact the Women’s Health Center at 203-932-5711 ext. 5400.

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