What's Your (Reproductive Life) Plan?
A Reproductive Life Plan (RLP), is a personal plan to help you decide if and when you may be ready to become a parent. Some people may want to become a parent soon, some people may never want to parent and others may already be parents and aren't ready for another one just yet- or any more children in the future.
Having a plan is important, it can help guide you to make sure you are taking the right steps to prevent pregnancy until you are ready.
The first step in making a personal plan is to list out any goals or accomplishments you may want to achieve before you become a parent. Here are some questions to consider:
- Do I want to go to college and get a degree?
- Do I want to start working and focus on my career?
- What do I want to accomplish and experience before I have children?
Other questions you can ask yourself are:
- How important to me is it to not get pregnant any time soon?
- How would I feel if I learned that I was pregnant?
- What will I do if I or my partner becomes pregnant by accident?
- When I decide to become a parent, how many kids would I want to have, and how many years apart will I want them to be?
The next step is deciding what actions you will take to make sure you can stick to your plan. Maybe that plan means staying abstinent and choosing not to have sex until you are ready to parent, for others that might be choosing the best Birth Control Method that will help effectively prevent pregnancy. If your partner is the one who may become pregnant, that means communicating with them about what you will both do to prevent pregnancy.
Here is an example of a reproductive life plan:
"My name is Kat, and I am 17 years old. I do not want to become a parent in the next year, and I would like to go to college in a different state and start working in the medical field before I start to even think about having kids. I don't think I want to become a parent until I am at least 26 or 27. When I do decide to become a parent, I think I would like two children, three years apart. I will use the implant as a birth control method to make sure I do not become a parent until I am ready, and I will use condoms to prevent STDs and stay healthy".
You can't always be prepared for what life throws at you, but having a plan can help to make sure you are as prepared as possible!
Contact a teen friendly clinic to talk to a medical provider about what birth control method would work best for you.