- Natural birth control methods monitor the menstrual cycle and physical changes in the body
- There are no side effects for this method as no external intervention
- It needs cooperation of the partner as to avoid sex or to use contraception during ovulation
- It doesn’t hinder spread of sexually transmitted diseases
People choose birth control methods to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Due to several reasons, an unexpected pregnancy can make the life worse for many. Hence, family planning and birth control are important.
Choosing the right birth control methods also plays a crucial role in preventing pregnancy. While many ought to have oral pills, some use condoms. Another set of people opts for IUDs while there are implants too that prevents pregnancy. Besides all these, some natural ways may help avoid pregnancy.
Many choose natural birth control aka natural family planning (NFP) over the other methods. It can be religious or personal reasons that lead to this choice. If followed correctly, natural family planning is 99 percent effective. But, usually it may get wrong and two out of three opting natural birth control methods get pregnant unexpectedly.
Natural birth control methods monitor the physical changes in the woman and avoid having sexual intercourse during those days or use contraception those days to prevent pregnancy. What are those natural methods?
1. Rhythm Method
- Monitoring cervical mucus
The woman can monitor the changes in her cervical mucus continuously. As the ovulation gets nearer, the mucus becomes moist and sticky, white and creamy. Meanwhile soon after your periods, the vagina becomes dry. During ovulation or the day just before or after ovulation, the mucus becomes clear and slippery like egg white.
Users of mucus rhythm method require abstinence on all days of noticeable mucus and for three days after that.
- Calendar method
This method is keeping track of your menstrual cycle and calculating the ovulation days accordingly. Usually, the menstrual cycle starts from day 1 of your period. Then the ovulation happens on the 14th day in normal cases. There will be a gap of 28 days between two menstrual periods.
The first unsafe day is obtained by subtracting 18 days from the length of the shortest cycle and unsafe last day by deducting ten days from the longest cycle.
For a lady with the 28-day normal menstrual cycle, the first unsafe day is (28 minus18) 10th day and unsafe last day is (28 minus 10) 18th day of the cycle. In short, abstinence between the 10th and 18the day in a 28-day cycle is advised.
- Temperature rhythm method
In this method, the woman can monitor the Basal Body Temperature (BBT) each day and predict the ovulation days. Normally, the basal body temperature will be between 97° F and 98° F. During ovulation, the BBT rises from 0.5 to 1°F.
The BBL reading should be taken on a daily basis at the same time and using the same equipment. Or else it may affect its accuracy.
- Breastfeeding amenorrhea method (LactationalAmenorrhoea)
When the mother breastfeeds the baby exclusively for the first six months after delivery, she may not get periods. This is another natural contraception. She won’t get pregnant unless periods start after childbirth. But in this case also, it is not 100 percent guaranteed.
A woman can also use the above three combined methods for effective calculation and avoid pregnancy. Today, there are many mobile apps or software that help the woman to track menstrual cycle and ovulation days.
Considering that many women may fail to follow the method perfectly, the natural birth control or natural family planning is not recommended for those who have health issues.
- If the woman has health issues like high blood pressure and heart diseases, then this method is not recommended
- If you are a drug addict or alcohol addict, the baby may get health issues if you get pregnant. In such situations, in order to avoid pregnancy, natural methods is least recommended.
- If you are at higher risk of infection of sexually transmitted disease, (having multiple sexual partners), natural birth control methods may put you at risk.
- If you have an irregular menstrual cycle, then tracking ovulation will be difficult. Hence this method may not work.
- If you have conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) that affect your fertility, then natural birth control may not be effective.
Despite the chances of a failed birth control, a natural method always has some advantages.
- No side effects
- Better monitoring of your menstrual cycle and body changes
- Better bonding with your partner as you both takes role in this
- No need for hospital visits
- You can get pregnant whenever you want
Meanwhile, keeping the record of your daily signs are important to avoid risks. It also seeks cooperation from your partner to avoid having sex or to use contraception like condom during ovulation. Other environmental factors like travel and lifestyle may affect your menstrual cycle and fertility. Hence it is important to be accurate of your calculations like ovulation date.