Natural Birth Control
If you don't want to use synthetic hormones or devices to avoid pregnancy, I can help you learn more about the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) of Fertility Awareness and how to accurately and confidently use it! The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is also known as Natural Family Planning (NFP). I teach the Justisse Method (JM) which is similar to the Creighton Model System (CrMS) and from the books Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weshcler and Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer.
FAM is most decidedly NOT the Rhythm Method which uses past fertility data to predict future fertility information. Instead, it is a method that uses real-time data (cervical fluid, basal body temperature, cervical position, etc.) to answer the question you ask yourself at the end of every day:
"Am I Fertile? Yes or no?"
what about breastfeeding?
Fertility Awareness can be used after a pregnancy and/or while breastfeeding to avoid getting pregnant during this season. (PS - It can also be used to get pregnant again if that's the desire.)
You can keep track of any changes in your fertility signs to know whether or not you could get pregnant that day. While some just rely on the fact that they're breastfeeding to keep them from getting pregnant, a higher effectiveness rate is reached if one accurately charts and interprets their fertility signs.
And... if you're charting, you'll also have a better idea of when your first period will arrive after giving birth!
In March 2013, a survey was conducted that asked over 1,000 unmarried women (age 18-29) about their use of contraception. All of the respondents in the survey have had sex, do not have children, and are not trying to get pregnant (a sample that matches only 33% of American women this age). Listed in order of what's most important when choosing a method of contraception, the women said:
- It's effective
- It's affordable.
- It's easy to use.
- I think it's a healthy option for me.
- My doctor/health care provider suggested it.
- It's easy to get.
- I've heard/read good things about it.
- My partner suggested it.
- My friends like it/use it.
If this is what women want from their contraception, let's see how FAM fits into this!
Please note, protection from STIs (sexually transmitted infections) wasn't listed on the survey and FAM (just like most contraception aside from condoms) offers no protection against STIs including HIV.
FAM can be a highly effective form of birth control if the method is properly taught, correctly used, accurately interpreted, and if both partners are motivated to avoid pregnancy. Here's a Sympto-Thermal Fertility Awareness Method study from 2007 with effectiveness rates comparable to the Pill: "The effectiveness of a fertility awareness based method to avoid pregnancy in relation to a couple’s sexual behaviour during the fertile time: a prospective longitudinal study" by P.Frank-Herrmann, et. al. in Human Reproduction.
Once financial investment has been made to attend an introductory class with a qualified Fertility Awareness Educator ($50+/-), buy a book ($20+/-), buy a thermometer ($15+/-), photocopy paper charts or use charting software or a non-predicting app (almost free), and participate in one-on-one consults with a qualified FAE ($50+/-), there's really nothing more to purchase... maybe a replacement battery for your digital thermometer?
It's easy to use.
Ever learned a lifelong skill like dancing, knitting, or learning to drive? It might have had a learning curve, but now these skills are second-nature and you can probably do them *safely* without thinking twice. For most women, FAM is easy to learn & simple to use!
I think it's a healthy option for me.
Ummm... well, you can't get much "healthier" than knowing your fertility and being an expert on your own reproductive health! No side-effects here...
My doctor/health care provider suggested it.
Some health care providers know about FAM, but unfortunately a lot do not. Try to find a doctor or midwife who values cycle charting.
It's easy to get.
Yep, it's easy to get... the knowledge is between your ears and the information is between your legs! Other forms of contraception require you to see your health care provider, fill a prescription, or make trips to the store to buy more supplies.
I've heard/read good things about it.
Maybe you have heard/read accurate information about FAM. Maybe you've heard/read inaccurate information. It's based on scientific data and the books Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler and Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer can give you a lot of great and accurate information about FAM.
My partner suggested it.
Yes! Many of my clients have found FAM because their partner didn't want them to experience unpleasant and/or risky side-effects. Yay for caring partners!
My friends like it/use it.
Again, maybe this is true and maybe it's not. Each woman's situation and experience is different. If you have a friend who LOVES using FAM, but you don't think it's the right option for you, that's fine. If you have a friend who HATES using FAM, but you think it's the right option for you, that's fine too. We're all so different!