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What’s Your Plan?

Preconception health refers to your health during the reproductive years. There are many choices you can make to take control over your health regardless of your gender or sexual orientation.

If you are thinking about having sex, or are already sexually active, it is important to think about your Reproductive Life Plan.

“What’s Your Plan?” is a tool to help you consider your goals, priorities, values, and personal health when planning whether or not to have children, and when might be the right time for you.

What’s Your Plan if…

Are you ready to have sex? Whether it is for the first time or the first time with a new partner, there is a lot to think about when deciding to become sexually active. Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:

  • Why do I want to have sex?
  • Am I ready to have sex?
  • Am I in a healthy relationship?

For more questions to ask yourself before having sex, check out this How Will I know if I’m Ready for Sex resource. To see if your relationship is a “healthy” one, visit Sex&U and learn more about different types of relationships and online safety.

Consent – Do you know what it means to give consent? Consent is needed for all types of sexual activity and must be freely given. To find out more about consent, visit SexandU.ca.

Practice Safer Sex – Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very common. Most methods of birth control do not protect you from getting STIs. Regardless of your gender, having an STI and not getting it treated can interfere with being able to have a baby one day. Reduce your risk of getting an STI by practicing safer sex. For all you need to know about safer sex practices visit Sex and U or speak to a nurse at one of our drop in Sexual Health clinics.

Birth Control – If you don’t have a plan to prevent pregnancy, you have a plan to get pregnant. It is important to find a birth control method that works for you and your partner. Visit Sex and U to learn more about what birth control options are available or talk to a nurse at our free and confidential sexual health clinic.

Lifestyle – By making healthy choices, you can give yourself and any future children better health outcomes. Women who could become pregnant should take a multi vitamin with folic acid every day. Check out these links to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle:

Birth Control – If you don’t have a plan to prevent pregnancy, you have a plan to get pregnant. Until you decide you are ready for a baby, use a birth control method that works for you and your partner. Check out Sex and U to get all the details about what birth control method is right for you! You can also drop in to a Sexual Health Clinic to talk about your options with a Public Health Nurse. Check out the Clinics & Classes page to find a Sexual Health Clinic near you.

Practice Safer Sex – Reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by practicing safer sex and using condoms. You can drop-in at a Sexual Health Clinic to talk about your risk and for testing. Check out the Clinics & Classes page to find a Sexual Health Clinic near you. To learn more about safer sex practices, head on over to Sex and U.

Visit Your Health Care Provider – Having regular visits with your health care provider is important for the reproductive health of both partners. Book a visit today to:

Support – Stress can often interfere with your daily life. Managing stress, depression or anxiety can lower the risk of having mental health challenges before and after a baby is born. Talk with your health care provider or check out this list of supports near you.

Lifestyle – By making healthy choices, you can give yourself and any future children better health outcomes. Women who could become pregnant should take a multi vitamin with folic acid every day. Check out these links to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle:

Birth Control – If you don’t have a plan to prevent pregnancy, you have a plan to get pregnant. It is important to find a birth control method that works for you and your partner. Check out Sex and U to get all the details about what birth control method is right for you! You can also drop in to a Sexual Health Clinic and talk about your options with a Public Health Nurse. Check out the Clinics & Classes page to find a Sexual Health Clinic near you.

Practice Safer Sex – Reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by practicing safer sex and using condoms. You can drop in at a Sexual Health Clinic to talk about your risk and for testing. Check out the Clinics & Classes page to find a Sexual Health Clinic near you. To learn more about safer sex practices, head on over to Sex and U.

Lifestyle – Living a healthy lifestyle is important for your overall health. Women who could become pregnant should take a multi vitamin with folic acid every day. Check out these links to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle:

Consider Your Life Situation – Are you physically, mentally and financially ready to have a baby? Think about the supports you have to help you during pregnancy and after the baby arrives. Take time to find out about resources in your community. A Reproductive Life Plan can help you consider all of these factors.

Avoid Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs – It is best to stop drinking alcohol, smoking and using drugs before getting pregnant. These substances can affect the health of a man’s sperm and a woman’s ability to get pregnant. If used at any time during pregnancy they can also be harmful to the growing baby. For more information about living an alcohol, smoke and drug free life or where to find support in quitting, visit these links:

Healthy Eating & Physical Activity – Making healthy food choices and having regular physical activity can help you and your partner prepare for pregnancy. Check out our Healthy Eating page for healthy food choices. For ideas of how to get and stay active check out our physical activity page!

Folic Acid – Women should take a multivitamin with folic acid before and during pregnancy. This helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. To learn about folic acid check out the Baby Building Nutrients section within our Healthy Eating During Pregnancy page.

Limit Harmful Exposures – Being exposed to harmful chemicals can impact your ability to make a baby. They can also cause health issues for a mother and baby during pregnancy. Check out the “Health Before Pregnancy” resource to learn more about reducing your risk.

Visit Your Health Care Provider – Having regular visits with your health care provider is important for the reproductive health of both partners. Book a visit today to:

  • Screen for and manage any medical conditions
  • Test for STIs
  • Review your immunization history
  • Talk about your preconception health

This preconception healthcare visit checklist can help you when talking with your provider.

Support – Stress can often interfere with your daily life. Managing stress, depression or anxiety can lower the risk of having mental health challenges before and after a baby is born. Talk with your health care provider or check out this list of supports near you.

Getting Ready for Parenting – There is lots to think about when getting ready to become a parent. How will your life change? How do you plan on feeding your baby? Where will baby sleep? Check out our Education & Supports to learn more about becoming a parent. Take a look at this resource to help you make an informed decision about feeding your baby.

Having questions is normal! Drop into one of our confidential sexual health clinics to discuss any of the following:

  • options regarding your pregnancy
  • pregnancy testing
  • sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing

Healthy Pregnancy – There is lots of information out there about pregnancy. It can be hard to know what is best for you and your baby. Visit the During Pregnancy section for reliable information and resources to help have a healthy pregnancy.

Education & Support – Finding out you are expecting can be exciting and overwhelming. The good news is there are lots of support available to help prepare you and your partner for the journey ahead. Take a look at our Education & Support page to learn more.

As a parent, your health can impact your entire family. To help maintain your mental and physical health:

Make Time for Rest and Sleep – Getting at least 6 hours within a 24 hour period will help maintain your physical, mental and emotional health.

Give Your Body Time to Heal – Your body went through some major changes during pregnancy and delivery. Visit the After Pregnancy section to learn more about your postpartum health. Speak with your doctor about when it’s safe to start having sex again. Resume sexual activity when you are both physically and emotionally ready.

Birth Spacing – This refers to the length of time between pregnancies. To give your body and baby the best start possible, wait at least 18–24 months before getting pregnant again. Waiting more than 5 years between each pregnancy can increase risks for mom and baby. Visit the Pregnancy Info site to learn more about birth control options after baby. You can also drop in to one of our Sexual Health Clinics to talk with a nurse.

Parenting Support – Parenting is not always easy. Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) has information that you may find helpful. Visit the Clinics & Classes page to find out about Triple P programs near youFor more parenting support take a look at our Healthy Babies Healthy Children home visiting program.

Birth Spacing – This refers to the length of time between pregnancies. To give your body and baby the best start possible, wait at least 18–24 months before getting pregnant again. Waiting more than 5 years between each pregnancy can increase risks for mom and baby. Visit the Pregnancy Info site to learn more about birth control options after baby. You can also drop in to one of our Sexual Health Clinics to talk with a nurse.

Consider Your Life Situation – Are you physically, mentally and financially ready to have another baby? Think about the supports you have to help your family. Take time to find out about resources in your community. Talk with your healthcare provider or check out this list of supports near you.

Birth Control – Until you decide you are ready for another baby, use a birth control method that works for you and your partner. Check out Sex and U to get all the details about what birth control method is right for you! You can also drop in to a Sexual Health Clinic to talk about your options with a Public Health Nurse. Check out the Clinics & Classes page to find a Sexual Health Clinic near you.

Visit Your Health Care Provider – Talk with your health care provider about your desire to add to your family. This would also be a good time for you and your partner to have a complete medical check-up.

Birth Control – It is important to find a birth control method that works for you and your partner. Check out Sex and U to get all the details about what birth control method is right for you! You can also drop in at a Sexual Health Clinic and discuss your options with a Public Health Nurse. Check out the Clinics & Classes page to find a Sexual Health Clinic in your community.

Practice Safer Sex – Reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by practicing safer sex and using condoms. You can drop in at a Sexual Health Clinic to talk about your risk and for testing. Check out the Clinics & Classes page to find a Sexual Health Clinic in your communityTo learn more about safer sex practices, head on over to Sex and U.

Parenting Support – Parenting is not always easy. Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) has information that you may find helpful. Visit the Clinics & Classes page to find out about Triple P programs near you. For more parenting support take a look at our Healthy Babies Healthy Children home visiting program.

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