Natural Family Planning
- Natural Family Planning, also called fertility awareness-based methods, the rhythm method or the calendar method—are all about tracking your menstrual cycle to determine the days that you can get pregnant.
- You must become a student of your own body to practice these methods. Your body communicates with you, and you must listen to it so you know what it is saying 🙂
- The slightly difficult part is how to calculate your fertile and infertile days correctly! But with practice and determination, you will begin to master them correctly.
USING NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING METHODS
- These methods are not advisable if you have irregular menstrual periods.
- Your partner(s) agreement is crucial if these methods will be effective.
- You must be able to continually (daily!) check your temperature, secretions, and cycle dates.
- If you cannot abstain from sex on your fertile days, use a backup method like the male or female condom or a diaphragm/cervical cap for prevention of pregnancy.
When used alone, they are not as effective as other kinds of contraceptives, like pills, injectables, and IUDs. But if they are combined with a barrier method like a condom, then the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is lessened.
Here are the basic pieces of information you should know before you choose a method.
Ovulation: Once during each menstruation cycle, an egg (this is what can be fertilised by a guy’s sperm and become a baby!) is released from the ovaries. This typically happens around 14 days before your monthly period begins.
Fertile Period: A lady’s fertile days are when she is MOST likely to get pregnant. Since it's difficult to predict exactly when a woman's most likely to get pregnant, you will need to either abstain or use condoms for 10 or more days every month, depending on what kind of fertility awareness-based method you use.
Menstrual Cycle: Note the first day of your menstruation. Count from that first day of menstruation to the beginning of another one. Those days (including that first day) between 2 periods is your “Menstrual Cycle.”
- It is quite acceptable among people of Faith.
- It is not expensive
- These methods pose no risks to couples’ health and they have no side effects.
- They are not as effective as other kinds of contraceptives, like pills, injectables, and IUDs.
- Accurate prediction of ovulation and fertile periods may be incorrect, which could lead to unwanted pregnancies.
- During certain times of the month, you will have to abstain from sex or use a condom.
- These methods will not protect you from STDs/STIs.
- These methods require the agreement of your partner.
NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING METHODS
Ovulation Calendar Method
If your menstrual cucle is between 26 and 23 days long, you can use this method to record your periods and determine when you can and cannot get pregnant.
The 2-Day Cervical Mucus Method
Ready to check your mucus? The 2-day Cervical Mucus Methos is all about noting the difference in the consistency of appearance (as it concerns the thickness or thinness) of your cervical mucus on a daily basis.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Method
You will take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed and write down on a fertility awareness chart to track when you ovulate.
Breastfeeding as a Contraceptive
Breastfeeding can be used as a family planning method up to 6 months after having a baby. For this to work, you have to meet all three of the following criteria:
- No menstrual bleeding since your baby was born.
- You only breastfeed your baby (no other foods or liquids, including water, given).
- You feed your baby at least every 4 hours the day and every 6 hours during the night.