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My husband and I have gone through quite a few different methods of birth control since getting married. Our first method was the “no birth control whatsoever” method, many times referred to as Quiverfull.
While I still feel like that is a great idea, it did not work for me. I had my two boys within a year of each other and my hormones were not happy! So we decided that even though we liked the idea of having however many kids we were supposed to have, I needed a break.
So I went on a birth control pill. Now I’ve never been a fan of birth control pills however, I didn’t have knowledge of any other alternatives.
We eventually stopped using birth control pills due to the ingredients in the pills and the fact that it is possible that if you amazingly get pregnant on the pill despite all the blocking preventions the pill is supposed to do, it can stop the fetus from implanting thus causing you to abort the fetus. That to us is not all right.
I wanted a natural form of birth control!
Thanks to a friend and the internet, we learned about Natural Family Planning (NFP) and began to figure it all out.
Natural Family Planning – A Natural Form of Birth Control!
The idea behind Natural Family Planning is that you read your body’s signals to tell you when you are fertile.
There are many variations and some work better then others. However, when done properly, Natural Family Planning can be just as effective as taking an oral contraceptive.
Reasons to Consider Natural Family Planning
1) It’s free!
2) It is not difficult
3) No nasty chemicals/hormones going into your body
4) No side effects
5) Does not generate any waste for landfills
6) No possible abortion of unplanned pregnancies
7) It IS effective.
Now lets talk about the nitty gritty details. Just a warning, the following will probably be a bit too much information for some.
The Three Basic Types of Natural Family Planning
1) Symptom-based methods (cervical mucus, basal body temperature, cervical position)
2) Calendar-based methods (relying on your past cycle to predict how this cycle will be, not very accurate as each cycle can very)
3) The Breastfeeding method (properly known as Lactational Amenorrhea Method or LAM, which relies on breastfeeding since it reduces your fertility. However it does not work for every women and even if it does work out, you must keep watch for fertile signs as LAM can stop working anytime)
My preference is the symptom-based methods as they are the most overall accurate. Out of the different techniques for the symptom-based methods, I use and recommend tracking by cervical mucus.
Basal body temperature is a nice secondary, however since it only tells you that you ovulated AFTER you have ovulated it is not a very good method of avoiding pregnancy by itself. Cervical position is just messy and difficult to judge, in my opinion.
A bit more on cervical mucus charting…
When tracking your cervical mucus there are basically four stages for every menstrual cycle:
1) your monthly period
2) a dry cycle in which there is no cervical mucus
3) a wet cycle in which there is cervical mucus and this is when you are fertile
4) another dry cycle in which you have already ovulated and there is now no chance of getting pregnant.
By recognizing these four cycles and avoiding intercourse when you are fertile, you can have an effective form of birth control.
It is also a good method to use when trying to achieve pregnancy as well, except in that case you want to have intercourse during fertile times.
If you are wanted to start using Natural Family Planning as your natural form of birth control, you will need more information that what I just provided. Taking Charge of Your Fertility is basically the bible on Natural Family Planning and all things fertility based.