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​All men and women need to know about pre-pregnancy health measures before a pregnancy occurs. Preconception (pre-pregnancy) health care allows the mother-to-be to be in the best possible health before getting pregnant so she has the best chance of having a healthy baby. A medical visit for pre-pregnancy care is recommended and includes a thorough medical history, examination, laboratory screening tests, updating of immunizations (if needed), and counseling. This service is available through your local health department. Folic acid (one of the B vitamins) helps prevent birth defects of the spine and brain. All women of childbearing age, especially those planning a pregnancy, should eat a well-balanced diet and take 400 mcg of folic acid daily.

Spacing pregnancies at least two years apart is recommended for the health of the mother and child. Birth control pills are NOT the only reliable method of contraception. Many other methods are also available to help you "plan" for your children. Your local health department family planning clinic nurse can discuss all of the different birth control methods available.

The decision to have or not have sex with someone is your choice. When a person has sex because they are afraid, it is not consent but submission (or coercion). Manipulation used to get someone to have sex includes such statements as "I know you really want to," "You would if you loved me," "If you don’t, I will..." "You owe it to me," "I can’t stand it without you," "No one else wants you but me," and many, many others! Forcible sex is SEXUAL ASSAULT (rape). Talk to an adult that you trust if you have ever been or fear you will be forced to have sex. Confidential help is available.

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