Your Reproductive Life Plan:
A reproductive life plan is taking into consideration your priorities, goals, values, and personal health when planning whether or not to have children and when might be the right time for you.
You have the control over your own reproductive life plan and to make decisions about:
- Having children or not having children
- When to have a child
- How you plan to have children
“If you don't have a plan to prevent pregnancy, you have a plan to get pregnant” (Toronto Public Health)
What's Your Plan?
With approximately 50% of all Canadian pregnancies being unplanned, planning before having a baby can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. Preconception health refers to the health of all individuals during their reproductive years and is important to consider regardless of your gender or sexual orientation (OPHA, 2014).
There are many choices that you can make to take control over your health & reproductive plan, regardless of whether you plan to have children or not. Making these positive choices will improve your health and will help your chances of having a healthy baby if you choose to.
The following provides you with information you may want to consider depending on where you are in your current Reproductive Life Plan.
What's Your Plan if…
You're Thinking About Becoming Sexually Active?
- Consider your readiness for sex. There are many factors to consider when deciding if you’re ready for sex, whether for the first time, or the first time with a new partner. There are some questions you can ask yourself such as “Why do I want to have sex?” and “Am I in a healthy relationship”. If you have questions you can talk confidentially to a public health nurse either at your school, at a local clinic, or by calling the Health Action Line at 1-800-660-5853.
- Practice safer sex. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very common and most methods of birth control do not protect you from getting an STI. If you get an STI and it is left untreated, it can make you sick and may interfere with your plans of having a baby one day. You can reduce your risks of STI by practicing safer sex. If you would like to speak to a nurse about safer sex, STIs or want to get tested come to one of our drop in sexual health clinics.
- Find a birth control method that is right for you and your partner. Talk with your health care provider or public health nurse at a sexual health clinic to find a birth control method that is right for you.
- Live a healthy lifestyle by choosing healthy eating options, staying physically active, keeping immunizations up to date, being smoke-free, limiting alcohol and drug use, and limiting your exposure to harmful chemicals. It is important for women who could become pregnant to be taking a multivitamin with folic acid every day.