If you have been following our fertility journey, you know that I have used natural birth control methods for the last five and a half years. Today, on mrsprofresh.com, I am sharing what natural birth control is and introduce a few methods that are commonly used.
But first – what is natural birth control?
Natural birth control, also known as fertility awareness or natural family planning, is a hormone-free way to prevent pregnancy. It involves tracking a woman’s menstrual cycle to identify when she is most fertile. By avoiding sexual activity during this time, the risk of pregnancy is reduced. BUT – if you are trying to conceive, then of course, you would know when to have sexual intercourse. 😉
So basically you can use natural birth control to avoid getting pregnant, or to have a baby. Oh – but without the extra hormones.
Types of Natural Birth Control Methods
Before diving into a few commonly used methods – lemme just say that our bodies are freakin’ amazing. They are incredibly intelligent and magnificent in every aspect. I am in awe of their capabilities and natural knowingness. They heal us, they protect us, they warn us.
I will never get over it.
That said, keep the above in mind as you read through the various options of natural birth control methods. I think you’ll be surprised, especially if you have never heard of natural family planning.
- Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Method: This method involves tracking your body temperature each morning before getting out of bed. Your temperature rises slightly when you ovulate, indicating that you are fertile. If you would like to learn more about this method, I am linking a helpful resource here.
- I used the BBT method for quite some time. I definitely saw a pattern of when my temperature would rise. The data collected using the BBT method aligned with positive ovulation tests + the menstrual cycle app I was using. The only drawback of this method is that you MUST check your temperature EVERY SINGLE DAY at the EXACT SAME TIME. This was hard because this meant waking up at 4:30 AM on the weekends just to record my temperature.
- Cervical Mucus Method: This method involves observing and charting changes in cervical mucus throughout your menstrual cycle. Your mucus becomes slippery and stretchy when you are fertile, making it easier for sperm to swim through. If you would like to learn more about this method, I am linking a helpful resource here. I highly encourage you to read this helpful guide so you can learn the role of cervical mucus. 😉 It tells you a lot about your hormonal health.
- Symptothermal Method: This method combines the BBT and cervical mucus methods, along with other fertility signs such as ovulation pain or spotting. If you would like to learn more about this method, I am linking a helpful resource here.
- Although this is a new term to me, I guess you can say that I applied this method. At one point, I was tracking my basal body temperature, taking ovulation tests, and monitoring my cervical mucus. I know it sounds like a lot, but once you get the hang of it, it isn’t bad at all.
- Calendar (or Rhythm) Method: This method involves tracking the length of your menstrual cycle and using that information to predict when you are fertile. However, it may not be as accurate for women with irregular cycles. If you would like to learn more, I am linking a helpful resource here.
- Creighton Method: This method involves the observation and charting of cervical mucus as well as pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding or spotting, and other important hormonal markers. If you would like to learn more, I am linking a helpful resource here.
- This is what I am currently using to help my doctor understand what is happening with my hormonal health since I have yet to conceive naturally.
Please note this isn’t an exhaustive list of natural birth control methods. There are a few more that I didn’t mention. When you zoom out and look at the big picture, they are all similar. They all require you to get in tune with your body.
Is natural birth control for me?
Now you’re probably wondering if natural birth control is for you. And the answer is – it is up to you.
Natural family planning is very intentional. It means getting in tune with your body and knowing exactly what is happening at specific times of the month. It requires time, dedication, and commitment.
Personally – I have enjoyed this approach. Before trying to conceive, yes, we had to abstain from having sexual intercourse during a specific timeframe BUT we also had our “moments of freedom” – if you know what I mean. 😉
Plus – I didn’t have to worry about all the side effects that come with hormonal birth control. Yikes – I have heard of many unpleasant stories from women in my life. Although, don’t get me wrong – I loved being on Lo-Loestrin before marriage because it helped me with terrible period cramps and my skin looked fabulous.
At the end of the day, it is a personal choice. I think it is important to educate yourself about your options, and then move forward with the one that makes the most sense for you. As I always say, be your own advocate.
Well, that’s a wrap my ladies. I hope this blog post shed light on the different types of natural birth control methods.
I am planning to share my personal experience using the Creighton Method next week. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com or connect with me on Instagram. I would be happy to help.
Ps. If you missed our fertility story, I’ll link it here.