Once upon a time I shared a post about natural birth control. The plan was to write a series following that post, but if you notice the date on that post is marked 2013. And now it’s 2015, and this is officially my second post on the subject.
Since I believe in redemption though, I’m going to give this another shot. Why? Because my life changed dramatically after starting FAM and I hope that if you’re considering this natural birth control option then these posts will encourage you.
As my previous post states, after I was married I knew I wanted off The Pill. We weren’t necessarily ready for children, but I felt like a hypocrite. We lived a pretty “natural” life, all but eliminating processed foods, reaching for more natural beauty products, if it was considered crunchy we were at least willing to try it. And yet.
I still have no idea what being on the The Pill for 10 years did to my body, I may never know. I do know this though, going “all-natural” with my birth control is quite possibly one of the healthiest things I’ve done for my body. A simple online search can give you side effects of birth control. For instance, this study shows that one of the ways The Pill works is by decreasing your libido. As a newlywed (and even now), that was one of the last things I (or my husband!) wanted.
Aside from preventing pregnancy, oral contraceptives boast several benefits, but for me those don’t outweigh the known and possible side effects. Notice I wrote “for me”. I am not judging those of you who feel differently, I’m merely trying to educate women on their options and telling my story.
And the scariest part to me? We still don’t know what effects these options (not just the oral method) have when used long-term.
Fertility Awareness Method just makes sense for where I’m at in my life right now. Things may change later, I don’t know but I’m so thankful for this natural birth control option.
What I’ve Learned
I’m on my 27th month of using FAM to prevent pregnancy, and guess what? I still don’t have kids. It works.
Now, yes, it may seem like more work than taking a pill everyday, and in the beginning it is. Once you’ve learned about how your body works through its cycle though and signs to look for, I think it’s actually easier than taking the pill. This book and accompanying website is a must for anyone considering FAM.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I tried doing things the “right” way and talking to my doctor about FAM. Not only was I laughed at when I told her we were going to prevent pregnancy “naturally” (yes, really) but I left even more confused than I was before. I pray that doesn’t happen to you, but if it does know that you have support here and on the website I shared above. There’s an open forum of women asking and answering every question you can think of regarding FAM.
Oh, and if I still lived in the same state as that doctor, I’d probably march my happy tail right in there, show her my charts, and tell her to educate herself or at the very least set her judgment aside. Just sayin.
FAM = WAY cheaper!
So after ditching the pill, I needed the following things to be successful at FAM: a thermometer (I love this one because it recalls the last temp. taken, so I don’t have to try to read and record at Zero Dark Thirty), a binder, pen/pencil, charts from Taking Charge of Your Fertility. These can be found at the top under “Download Charts”. I do recommend getting the book, which is around $18 on Amazon. Or you just have an awesome friend you love seeing and go read through hers until you’ve memorized it. Ha.
So, what’s that a whooping $25? If you feel like using condoms while you’re ovulating then add that cost too, but let’s face it you’re probably still using them sometimes even while on other birth control methods.
I understand my body.
I know what it means to ovulate now and what that looks like. I know when I’m fertile and when I’m not. I understand that there is no “perfect” cycle and that I’m just fine if I never have a 28 day cycle (sorry Doc, wrong again!). I never liked being put into boxes anyway. I can still tell you what day my period will come based on signs from my body.
I love my body.
One of the results of getting off The Pill and other contraceptives is that your body will start doing things it’s meant to do. Like ovulating. And creating cervical fluid.
At first, I was a little freaked out. Anyone who’s experienced full-blown cervical fluid knows what I’m talking about here. Ladies, our bodies create a thin, stringy liquid to help sperm reach our eggs. Contraceptives prevent this fluid from coming at all or makes it really thick (pill users probably know what I’m referring to here). When we let our bodies cycle naturally, we get the thin, stringy, sticky liquid that is necessary for sperm to do their thing. It’s pretty awesome really. I love knowing and witnessing my body do what it’s made to do. Go ahead, call me weird.
FAM in My Daily Life
Next to my bed is a thermometer and a binder. Inside the binder are charts and a pen.
When I reach over to turn off my alarm clock, I also get my thermometer. I turn it on and stick it under my tongue. Most mornings the beeping of the thermometer is my second alarm. 🙂 I turn it off and put it back on my nightstand. Proceed as normal.
When I get into bed that night, I grab my binder and thermometer and record that day’s temperature. That’s it.
Now, the first 6 or 8 months looked a little different. Based on what my chart showed I would have to look up what was going on with my body. That’s where the book (above) comes in very handy!
Two years later though, I just know that most months I’m fertile during the second week of my cycle and that my period will come between days 27-32. I recognize the signs my body gives when I’m fertile, which will come into play when we’re trying to conceive.