Reproductive Health And Family Planning: What You Need To Know

Signature Health - Family Planning

Reproductive health is defined ” as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes” (World Health Organization, n.d). Family planning allows people to attain their desired number of children, if any, and to determine the spacing of their pregnancies. This can be achieved through a number of contraceptive methods and fertility treatment options. With the right support and professional care, women can make their own educated decision as it relates to family planning and their reproductive health.


Why Reproductive Health Services Are So Important

Enabling couples to determine whether, when, and how often to have children is crucial to safe motherhood and healthy families. Family planning can reduce maternal mortality by preventing unwanted pregnancies through contraceptive education and services while helping both heterosexual and same-sex couples who have a desire to start planning for pregnancy. Family planning also promotes reproductive health by:

  • Reducing HIV transmissions from mother to newborn
  • Protecting the health of women and children by reducing high-risk pregnancies
  • Preventing STIs and reducing infertility

Family Planning Services

Family planning is a public health service aimed at preventing unwanted pregnancies, promoting women's health, and helping women control and decide when or if they want to have children. Family planning empowers women to make conscious choices in regard to their reproductive health. Here is what is included in the broad term of family planning:

Birth Control

Birth control of any form is a key component of family planning and allows women to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Women have the opportunity to receive counselling to be provided with support and advice as it relates to their reproductive health. Some common forms of birth control include: 

  • Oral contraceptives
  • Barrier contraceptives
  • Intrauterine devices (IUD) 
  • Contraceptive implants

Emergency Contraception And Contraception Care

Education and counselling are provided to women who seek information on contraception. All forms of contraception are available to women, and women can freely choose with the advice of their doctor which form of contraception they wish to receive. Emergency contraception is used to reduce the risk of an unintended pregnancy that could be caused by contraceptive failure, or accidental pregnancy after vaginal intercourse. Various options of emergency contraception include:

  • Plan B®
  • Ella® (ulipristal acetate)
  • Copper IUD

Having options for both birth control and emergency contraception allows women to take control of their sexual and reproductive health.

Reproductive Health And Fertility Services

Many women's health services are considered a part of family planning. This includes services such as pap smears, mammograms, pelvic exams, and pregnancy testing. The health of your reproductive system is essential for ensuring safe, future pregnancies. 

Did you know that 1 in 6 Canadian families will struggle with infertility? Infertility can be related to both male and female factors or unexplained. Fertility services and counselling are available for heterosexual and same-sex couples wishing to start a family. It is important to understand that couples will be supported throughout their pregnancy journey and should utilize family planning services to ensure the health of both the mother and newborn.

Calgary Women’s Health Clinic

Family planning services increase the chances that your baby will be born healthy with little to no risk of complications, promote your reproductive health, and help couples achieve the desired number and spacing of their children. Services offered in a family planning visit include pregnancy testing and counselling, basic fertility services, contraceptive services, helping patients achieve pregnancy, and STI testing. All women have the right to a safe pregnancy and childbirth, and all individuals and couples have the right to plan their own families.

Signature Medical Women’s Health Clinic is a comprehensive clinic for medical care relating to women’s reproductive health and general health issues. Our team is focused on ensuring that our patients are fully equipped with all of the support, information, and care they need in making informed decisions regarding their health. We provide guidance to choosing the best birth control option for your lifestyle, offer prenatal and postnatal advice, and provide appropriate referrals to help assess fertility. If you would like to learn more about our family planning services, book an appointment with our Women’s Health Clinic by calling (403) 454-7550 or by filling out our online contact form.


Q: Do your contraceptive services include emergency contraceptive methods?
A: At our Women’s Health Clinic, we offer a variety of different contraceptive methods including emergency contraceptives. We provide education on Plan B®, copper IUDs, and Ella® (ulipristal acetate) to determine which method is best suited for you. 

Q: What is infertility?
A: Infertility is defined as a failure to conceive after a reasonable period of intercourse without the use of contraception. 

Q: What services does your Women’s Health Clinic provide to promote women’s reproductive health?
A: Our clinic provides women with all of the information, support, and care they need in making informed decisions about their reproductive health. Our services include:

  • Family planning
  • Contraceptive care
  • Breast cancer screening
  • Pap test

To learn more about our services or to book an appointment, contact our office by calling (403) 454-7550 or by filling out our online contact form

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