Girl Talk: Natural Contraceptive Methods

….Disclaimer…..it is not my intent in this post such as this to give medical advice, but to present info on health technology since it is advancing so rapidly, thus helping us stay informed, allowing us to ask doctors intelligent questions, so we can effectively and interactively participate in the decision making pertaining to our own health and well being.

My ex-girlfriend from 4 or 5 years back was a diabetic and could not use "the pill". Luckily, someone suggested to us to look into natural alternatives to the pill, and although she was not the type to dive in and research all that stuff, she used to call me "The King of Research", and of course I dived in to see what could find out on her behalf. All that info is on my computer just collecting dust, wouldn't hurt to put the basics out here for anyone who might be able to use it…….with a background of some cool women's fashion, which next to football, my second favorite spectator sport.

I'm always daring to go where no man has gone before 🙂

In simple terms, all methods of birth control are based on either preventing a man's sperm from reaching and entering a woman's egg (fertilization) or preventing the fertilized egg from implanting in the woman's uterus (her womb) and starting to grow. New methods of birth control are being developed and tested all the time. And what is appropriate for a couple at one point may change with time and circumstances. Unfortunately, no birth control method, except abstinence, is considered to be 100% effective.

Although a subject for another blog post, there are many concerns pertaining to "the pill". From certain perspectives, it is the most practical approach to birth control, but there are growing concerns pertaining to the dangers of taking the pill.

The fertility awareness methods (FAMs) are based upon knowing when a woman ovulates each month. In order to use a FAM, it is necessary to watch for the signs and symptoms that indicate ovulation has occurred or is about to occur.

On the average, the egg is released about 14 (plus or minus 2) days before a woman's next menstrual period. But because the egg survives 3 to 4 days (6 to 24 hours after ovulation) and the sperm can live 48 to 72 hours (up to even 5 days in fertile mucus), the actual time during which a woman may become pregnant is measured not in hours, not in days, but in weeks.

FAMS can be up to 98% effective, but they require a continuous and conscious commitment with considerable monitoring and self-control. Although these methods were developed to prevent pregnancy, they can equally well be used by a couple to increase fertility and promote conception.

The basal body temperature (BBT) method is based upon the fact that a woman's temperature drops 12 to 24 hours before an egg is released from her ovary and then increases again once the egg has been released. Unfortunately, this temperature difference is not very large. It is less than 1 degree F (about a half degree C) in the body at rest.

The basal body temperature method requires that a woman take her temperature every morning before she gets out of bed. A special thermometer that is more accurate and sensitive than a typical oral thermometer must be used, and the daily temperature variations carefully noted. This must be done every month. Online calculators are available to help a woman chart her basal body temperature.

To use the basal body temperature as a birth control method, a woman should refrain from having sexual intercourse from the time her temperature drops until at least 48 to 72 hours after her temperature increases again.

The mucus inspection method depends on the presence or absence of a particular type of cervical mucus that a woman produces in response to estrogen. A woman will generate larger amounts of more watery mucus than usual (like raw egg white) just before release of an egg from her ovary. This so-called egg-white cervical mucus (EWCM) stretches for up to an inch when pulled apart. A woman can learn to recognize differences in the quantity and quality of her cervical mucus by examining its appearance on her underwear, pads, and toilet tissue; or she may gently remove a sample of mucus from the vaginal opening using two fingers.

She may choose to have intercourse between the time of her last menstrual period and the time of change in the cervical mucus. During this period, it is recommended that she have sexual intercourse only every other day because the presence of seminal fluid makes it more difficult to determine the nature of her cervical mucus. If the woman does not wish to become pregnant, she should not have sexual intercourse at all for 3 to 4 days after she notices the change in her cervical mucus.

The symptothermal method combines certain aspects of the calendar, the basal body temperature, and the mucus inspection methods. Not only are all these factors taken into consideration, but so are other symptoms such as slight cramping and breast tenderness. Some women experience lower abdominal discomfort (in the area of the ovaries) during release of an egg (ovulation).

Lactational infertility is based upon the idea that a woman cannot become pregnant as long as she is breastfeeding her baby. It is true that a woman may not ovulate quite as soon after giving birth as she would if she were not breastfeeding. Women who are breastfeeding usually start ovulating again between 10-12 weeks after delivery.

A nursing mother may start ovulating again and not realize she is fertile, as ovulation can occur prior to the return of her menstrual period. If this happens and the mother has unprotected sexual intercourse, she can become pregnant at the same time she is still breastfeeding her baby. If a nursing mother does not wish to become pregnant again, she must again start to use an appropriate method of contraception.

Although we broke up before we truly got to implement a strategy, my ex was most comfortable with a natural spermicide, one I thoroughly researched and she was very comfortable with. We were going to have to order it from Germany, because it wasn't available in the U.S.. I don't want to name the product, since it is not my objective to make recommendations in this post, and we never got to use it. We would have had several "backup" methods such as the rhythm method. Actually, I practiced the rhythm method with women whether they knew it or not (I used to keep my own charts and calendar), I think it saved me from some "baby mamma drama" a couple of times in the past. There are professionals that give paid advice for birth control as well

I also wanted to add the next two paragraphs, to this post, a comment that a lady named Melodie wrote to me…….

"I did not want to use the pill when I got married for health reasons as well as concerns about it possibly being abortifacient (I'm a Christian). I researched various forms of natural contraception and decided on the BBT method (we were abstinate before marriage). This was made quite simple by this amazing device called the Lady Comp (from Lady-Comp.com) that does all the guesswork and charting for you. You simply take your temperature every monring with the thermoniter on the device, and it calculates everything for you. It needs 3 or 4 months of cycle data before it can be accurate, so I started this before we got married.

This method has proven to be very easy (taking your temp every morning is no more difficulte than remembering to take a pill) and accurate, especially with my regular cycles (nutrittion does effect the regularity of a woman's cycle, and thankfully I know how to eat right). We would use a barrier during the fertile times so we never had to go without :-) . When we were ready for a baby we reversed the idea and I got pregnant after the second cycle trying. I was hoping that breastfeeding would be enough for after my baby was born, but my cycles returned after I started feeding my son solids. Now I practice the mucus (now refered to more commonly as cervical fluid, or CF) inspection method which is keeping us pregnancy free until we are ready for number 2." –Melodie

I have run across other natural contraceptive methods such as papaya seeds (for both men and women) which have traditional and historical use, but I don't know how someone would safely and effectively implement a home remedy like that, this subject is a little more serious that home remedies for something like dry skin, just listing for thoroughness. 

I hope women feel free use the comments section below to comment about anything and everything pertaining to this subject matter. The "Girl Talk" section of the blog is for women to share ideas and information.

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……..In the end, no man (or woman) can tell a woman what to do with her body, but a man can at least give a woman some information to help her make some decisions that work best for her.

….and thanks to all these beautiful sisters rocking this great fashion. You all are so beautiful!!! I love you all 🙂

~stay healthy~

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Click here or below for all of my articles in "Girl Talk"

6 Responses

01.11.13

Thanks for spreading the word about natural forms of contraception! It is a shame that not only are most women putting unhealthy things in their bodies, but many are cluless as to the natural rythms of their bodies. I thought I'd share my story since it applies to everything you said here and might be helpful for others.
I did not want to use the pill when I got married for health reasons as well as concerns about it possibly being abortifacient (I'm a Christian). I researched various forms of natural contraception and decided on the BBT method (we were abstinate before marriage). This was made quite simple by this amazing device called the Lady Comp (from Lady-Comp.com) that does all the guesswork and charting for you. You simply take your temperature every monring with the thermoniter on the device, and it calculates everything for you. It needs 3 or 4 months of cycle data before it can be accurate, so I started this before we got married. This method has proven to be very easy (taking your temp every morning is no more difficulte than remembering to take a pill) and accurate, especially with my regular cycles (nutrittion does effect the regularity of a woman's cycle, and thankfully I know how to eat right). We would use a barrier during the fertile times so we never had to go without :-). When we were ready for a baby we reversed the idea and I got pregnant after the second cycle trying. I was hoping that breastfeeding would be enough for after my baby was born, but my cycles returned after I started feeding my son solids. Now I practice the mucus (now refered to more commonly as cervical fluid, or CF) inspection method which is keeping us pregnancy free until we are ready for number 2. 

01.12.13

Thanks for your comments. Actually, I added them to the blog article, you can see it further down, below the young girl with all the bracelets. ~stay healthy~

01.12.13

Thanks so much for sharing what I wrote! I hope it is helpful to others.

01.12.13

“and it allowed me to add some more cool new pictures. Fun work looking through that photography of beautiful black women:) This info may not be as relevant to me as a male (and a “non voluntary abstinent” male at that), but I have a lot of women readers, and I am simply sharing information I had on my computer and hope it is of some use to someone. But it is great when women can comment on their personal experiences, now ladies have a link to got to if they want to look into something like that “Lady Comp” device for BBT” Good luck on your wellness journey, I think you will find the answers to everything you need to live a long happy healthy life, because God seems to direct those seeking information on health and well being to the right info.

01.12.13

I did notice the new photos! Gorgeous!!! And I love all the color! It is refreshing to see a blog dominated by images of people who are not caucation!

01.12.13

Interesting comment, I suppose courageously said from someone who is spuppose is considered caucasian. But yeah, Being African American, I do have some kinship to images and health issues pertaining to African Americans. I do like to keep th blog diverse and have all images of all people, as long as it’s a cool picture and true to me. For example, if you look at a couple of my other “Girl Talk” articles, the one on Thermography, I have mosty (but not all) white women, just because I felt like doing it that way http://www.gaiahealthblog.com/2012/10/31/girl-talk-thermography/. And in my Girl Talk: Maca article I thought it would be cool to do an article on all races, beautiful women with grey hair http://www.gaiahealthblog.com/2012/12/01/girl-talk-maca-a-possible-natural-remedy-for-menapausal-symptoms/ . It just depends on what I wanna do artistically at any given moment, but I do have these articles called the “All Blacks”, here and there,like the Contraceptives article, because I just wanna do that sometimes. Have you checked out my article on African American biochemistry may not be compatible with western medicine? Pass that one on to whomever because it is a serious subject that African Americans need to think about and since you have interests in Africa, you might find it interesting. http://www.gaiahealthblog.com/2013/01/04/a-message-to-my-african-american-readers/

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