Your experiences with 'natural' birth control methods

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Right now it all seems confusing to me. I've been on fertility friend a lot and i feel overwhelmed with all this information. For now, I will keep temping every morning and using protection. I can see how this has already brought us closer as a couple. Being able to actually share such important life changing decisions with someone is invaluable. I hope I become a bit more knowledgeable about this soon.
Originally Posted by curledlove

Any time you feel overwhelmed with something, just take it one step at a time. Focus on temping, and learn the other parts as you go. Don't use it as your primary BC until you figure it all out. It's difficult for most women at first. You're learning about your body and no book or person can tell you exactly what it's going to be like for you. They're only guides. It's something you can only learn over time through observation.
Amneris likes this.
Turns out due to an existing medical condition, my cervical mucus is unreliable as far as predicting ovulation. I spoke to my OB/GYN about it and he recommended continuing hormonal BC because the mucus changes due to the medication and my condition. I guess back to my shot I go. Either way, thank you ladies for all this valuable information and I hope its useful for someone else here on NC.
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Turns out due to an existing medical condition, my cervical mucus is unreliable as far as predicting ovulation. I spoke to my OB/GYN about it and he recommended continuing hormonal BC because the mucus changes due to the medication and my condition. I guess back to my shot I go. Either way, thank you ladies for all this valuable information and I hope its useful for someone else here on NC.
Originally Posted by curledlove
I don't know about the condition, but I'd get more info on this. A lot of OBs are not that knowledgeable or comfortable with fertility awareness charting and push the Pill, so I'd want to be sure that you actually need the shot. Why can't you chart and use the barrier method for a few months and see what patterns emerge before anyone jumps to conclusions?
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I don't know about the condition, but I'd get more info on this. A lot of OBs are not that knowledgeable or comfortable with fertility awareness charting and push the Pill, so I'd want to be sure that you actually need the shot. Why can't you chart and use the barrier method for a few months and see what patterns emerge before anyone jumps to conclusions?
Originally Posted by Amneris
Ditto
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poodlehead
Ah, it all makes sense now. Goldy is the puppet master!
Turns out due to an existing medical condition, my cervical mucus is unreliable as far as predicting ovulation. I spoke to my OB/GYN about it and he recommended continuing hormonal BC because the mucus changes due to the medication and my condition. I guess back to my shot I go. Either way, thank you ladies for all this valuable information and I hope its useful for someone else here on NC.
Originally Posted by curledlove
I was on depo before purchasing the OvaCue. The ovacue doesn't require vaginal testing. The kit has that as an optional feature for extra money but the standard testing feature is saliva. Just something to consider if you want to go that route.
hello.world.
On another note I have never relied on my cervical mucus, I go by my temps. I am still nursing so my cervical mucus is not the most reliable indicator. Prior to getting pregnant I didn't really notice my cm and didn't check it internally, but still found a pattern in my cycles that allowed me to feel confident about when I would likely ovulate.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poodlehead
Ah, it all makes sense now. Goldy is the puppet master!
I agree with those that said you should ask more about why your doctor is so against you trying charting. While I did monitor my CM, it didn't always follow the "correct" or "predictable" pattern. For example, I would often get what was considered fertile CM after ovulation had already occurred. I learned that this was normal, but doesn't happen for all women. Temping is really the most important part.
Amneris likes this.
So I can rely solely on my temp? He's not pushing the pill or the shot or any other method per se, in fact he even told me his wife has been charting for a considerable amount of time and has had good results for both preventing becoming pregnant and when wanting to conceive. He told me that my meds affect my vaginal secretions altogether. He doesn't want me to trust the CM because its affected by the meds and I may think I have not ovulated when in fact I have, thus bringing the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy.

How reliable is temperature alone? Will charting be effective even if I completely disregard the CM?

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Teri Laflesh's book "Curly Like Me" sits on my desk and everytime I get frustrated and an impulse tells me to shave my head, I look at it in hopes that one day my hair will graze the top of my butt.








I happily used diaphragms for over 20 years, with no oops pregnancies. Very natural.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
+1000! This and knowing my cycle has really prevented any potential mishaps.

If you're comfortable with inserting things into yourself or are willing to be taught, the diaphragm is a great option.
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If you are comfortable with it you can also check your cervix for position and firmness along with taking you temperature.

I rely solely on my temps now since my cm has become so unreliable since having my son (and while I continue to breastfeed). My copy of the book is in the other room so I'm not sure what she says. But personal experience says yes, you can use your temps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poodlehead
Ah, it all makes sense now. Goldy is the puppet master!
So I can rely solely on my temp? He's not pushing the pill or the shot or any other method per se, in fact he even told me his wife has been charting for a considerable amount of time and has had good results for both preventing becoming pregnant and when wanting to conceive. He told me that my meds affect my vaginal secretions altogether. He doesn't want me to trust the CM because its affected by the meds and I may think I have not ovulated when in fact I have, thus bringing the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy.

How reliable is temperature alone? Will charting be effective even if I completely disregard the CM?

Sent from my HTC Glacier using CurlTalk App
Originally Posted by curledlove
Meds can affect vaginal secretions and "dry you up" - but this can also negatively affect you when you are trying to become pregnant (a lack of cervical mucus makes it more difficult for the sperm to swim and stay alive long enough to meet the egg) so you might want to consider if the meds are absolutely necessary, if there is an alternative or if you can take things that increase CM (evening primrose oil, grapefruit juice, Robitussin, etc.)

Even if there is no option but to take the meds, there are other ways to determine fertility. I would NOT rely on temps alone unless you have previously been charting for a long time and really know what are normal pre- and post-O temps for you. That's OK for someone who is an experienced charter and knows their pattern. I know that my pre-O temps are generally around 36 degrees C, could go as high as 36.3, and post-O is around 36.6, so for me, this is a fairly reliable method. That's not the case for you, so I would suggest checking internally for cervical position and feel, if you are comfortable, or using some kind of fertility monitor or ovulation tests (some fertility monitors use your saliva.)
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











So I can rely solely on my temp? He's not pushing the pill or the shot or any other method per se, in fact he even told me his wife has been charting for a considerable amount of time and has had good results for both preventing becoming pregnant and when wanting to conceive. He told me that my meds affect my vaginal secretions altogether. He doesn't want me to trust the CM because its affected by the meds and I may think I have not ovulated when in fact I have, thus bringing the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy.

How reliable is temperature alone? Will charting be effective even if I completely disregard the CM?

Sent from my HTC Glacier using CurlTalk App
Originally Posted by curledlove
Meds can affect vaginal secretions and "dry you up" - but this can also negatively affect you when you are trying to become pregnant (a lack of cervical mucus makes it more difficult for the sperm to swim and stay alive long enough to meet the egg) so you might want to consider if the meds are absolutely necessary, if there is an alternative or if you can take things that increase CM (evening primrose oil, grapefruit juice, Robitussin, etc.)

Even if there is no option but to take the meds, there are other ways to determine fertility. I would NOT rely on temps alone unless you have previously been charting for a long time and really know what are normal pre- and post-O temps for you. That's OK for someone who is an experienced charter and knows their pattern. I know that my pre-O temps are generally around 36 degrees C, could go as high as 36.3, and post-O is around 36.6, so for me, this is a fairly reliable method. That's not the case for you, so I would suggest checking internally for cervical position and feel, if you are comfortable, or using some kind of fertility monitor or ovulation tests (some fertility monitors use your saliva.)
Originally Posted by Amneris
I understood that at this time you are looking for charting as a method for birth control (prevention). Is this correct? Since you are just coming off hormonal bc you plan to use a back-up method at this time until you see a consistent pattern in charts correct? This could take 1-6 months, or longer. I think that would give you time to understand your body before you rely solely on charting as a birth control method.

I'm on my phone so I can't go back & read through this thread, so I apologize if I'm incorrect.

On another note, if you begin charting & do chart your cm, it is possible you will begin to see your own pattern there as well (that may not follow textbook). You may have to check internally if you don't produce a lot of cm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poodlehead
Ah, it all makes sense now. Goldy is the puppet master!
So I can rely solely on my temp? He's not pushing the pill or the shot or any other method per se, in fact he even told me his wife has been charting for a considerable amount of time and has had good results for both preventing becoming pregnant and when wanting to conceive. He told me that my meds affect my vaginal secretions altogether. He doesn't want me to trust the CM because its affected by the meds and I may think I have not ovulated when in fact I have, thus bringing the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy.

How reliable is temperature alone? Will charting be effective even if I completely disregard the CM?

Sent from my HTC Glacier using CurlTalk App
Originally Posted by curledlove
Meds can affect vaginal secretions and "dry you up" - but this can also negatively affect you when you are trying to become pregnant (a lack of cervical mucus makes it more difficult for the sperm to swim and stay alive long enough to meet the egg) so you might want to consider if the meds are absolutely necessary, if there is an alternative or if you can take things that increase CM (evening primrose oil, grapefruit juice, Robitussin, etc.)

Even if there is no option but to take the meds, there are other ways to determine fertility. I would NOT rely on temps alone unless you have previously been charting for a long time and really know what are normal pre- and post-O temps for you. That's OK for someone who is an experienced charter and knows their pattern. I know that my pre-O temps are generally around 36 degrees C, could go as high as 36.3, and post-O is around 36.6, so for me, this is a fairly reliable method. That's not the case for you, so I would suggest checking internally for cervical position and feel, if you are comfortable, or using some kind of fertility monitor or ovulation tests (some fertility monitors use your saliva.)
Originally Posted by Amneris
I understood that at this time you are looking for charting as a method for birth control (prevention). Is this correct? Since you are just coming off hormonal bc you plan to use a back-up method at this time until you see a consistent pattern in charts correct? This could take 1-6 months, or longer. I think that would give you time to understand your body before you rely solely on charting as a birth control method.

I'm on my phone so I can't go back & read through this thread, so I apologize if I'm incorrect.

On another note, if you begin charting & do chart your cm, it is possible you will begin to see your own pattern there as well (that may not follow textbook). You may have to check internally if you don't produce a lot of cm.
Originally Posted by goldy
That's why I don't see the OB's problem with this. I think all of us are saying that if prevention is really important to you, it would be foolish to use charting alone right now when you are just coming off hormones and have never charted before. I would say 3-4 months is the absolute minimum to see any patterns and it probably is not long enough for most people, and that's without the complication of hormones, so it could be a year for the OP. Why should it bother the OP to have someone chart AND use condoms/diaphragm/whatever? Hormononal BC is not the only way to avoid pregnancy.

If after a few months you're finding you can't see ANY patterns, then you may need medical help... but this would be proactive intervention since you eventually want to become pregnant, and if you're not seeing patterns, then you may not be ovulating, so it would be better to find this out sooner than later (i.e. months or years of trying for pregnancy.) As long as you are ovulating (and most likely you will be once you are off BC) there has to be some kind of pattern to it. And once there is a pattern, you can use FAM even if it does not fit the "textbook" pattern, and you can avoid or achieve pregnancy. I think it would be way more frustrating and time-consuming to wait to come off the shot or chart until you're ready to conceive. You might be one of the lucky ones who gets pregnant right away... or you might have months or more of waiting to ovulate, trying to figure out charts, etc. Why not get that out of the way now rather than later?

I charted and got pregnant with #2 with almost no CM due to just coming off breast feeding (which is said to do to your body what the Pill does in some cases.) I was still able to tell when O was, and I had CM inside. The day I ovulated, I suddenly had globs of CM. I'm not sure if that's what did it and got me pregnant and without it I wouldn't have, but even up until that point, I knew O was approaching and I was fertile, and I was almost completely dry, and it had been like that for months when I was avoiding as well.

TCOYF has info on all of this, so you should still read it.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I agree that you should really read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Fertility Friend also offers an online course, but if you'd feel better about having a book, then get that one. It's easy to read and really walks you through everything. It's not that complicated once you understand the basics. It's difficult to make an informed decision when you're going off tidbits of this and that.
Thanks everyone for your two cents. I think I will buy the book even if I don't use charting right away. I think my doctor wasn't pushing hormonal methods, i felt more like he was telling me to stay away from using charting as my only BC method because of my condition and the medication. Unfortunately, the medication is absolutely necessary. If whenever I'm ready to conceive, it causes a problem, I will have to find some solution. Thankfully, that doesn't concern me right now. My other concern with charting is my job. I work night shift (7pm-730am) 3 days a week. On those days, I have no idea when I would take my temp. I hadn't asked you ladies this question because I've been off work for the past few weeks due to an injury. Whichever way hubby and I decide we want to be sure that its the best for us and that we don't have an unplanned pregnancy. That's our biggest concern at the moment. For now we are just using a barrier method. Do you ladies think I should be taking temp (even though in a few days I'll be back at work and I'll have no idea what to do about temping)?
3c/4a
WL (25") straightened
APL curly

Teri Laflesh's book "Curly Like Me" sits on my desk and everytime I get frustrated and an impulse tells me to shave my head, I look at it in hopes that one day my hair will graze the top of my butt.








Working a night shift does make it more challenging. You can try to take your temp upon waking, regardless of when that actually is. At this point, you should be doing it to see if you can identify a pattern -- not to prevent pregnancy, as you've said. The added challenge of the shift work may make this more difficult, but you still may be able to see a pattern. You'll just have to try it and see.
My other concern with charting is my job. I work night shift (7pm-730am) 3 days a week. On those days, I have no idea when I would take my temp.
Originally Posted by curledlove

Working night-shifts disrupts your circadian rhythmn, and I don't think you will EVER get good enough temp information to rely on charting as birth control while you are working nights. Sorry...sounds like you're going to need to use barrier methods if you don't want to use hormonal birth control.
I was afraid of that. Ive been taking temps but they are all over the place. That might be because its only been a few weeks or becauase its just not feasible for me to wake up at the same time everyday. Oh well, I guess i'll be looking into diaphragms. This might not be a bad thing though because i've heard great things about those.

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3c/4a
WL (25") straightened
APL curly

Teri Laflesh's book "Curly Like Me" sits on my desk and everytime I get frustrated and an impulse tells me to shave my head, I look at it in hopes that one day my hair will graze the top of my butt.








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