Sunday, October 16, 2011

D.I.Y. Family Planning and Birth Control

I know that many families are well planned and most families consider a few options for birth control but I'd like to talk about my favorite concept for family planning and the technique we will be using to prevent conception, for as long as possible.  As you may know from reading this blog I want to foster and adopt instead of being pregnant again, that's not to say I won't if I have to, but I like the former option much much more.

Our plan is to follow the Natural Family Planning method, not to be confused with the Catholic Church's former Rhythm Method.

Last week, I attended a lecture from a fellow mama, Angie Bond, addressing all kinds of birth control lots of which I had never heard of, and I am not a prude!

Of course the usual, condoms, no side effects for breastfeeding mamas, only possible side affects are latex allergies. Female condoms too, which seem impractical; if not inserted properly, they don't work.
The pill, mini pill, the shot, the nuva ring and all other forms of hormonal treatment, all of which give me killer headaches and migraines.
Also, IUD both copper and progesterone options exist, but these side effects are not something I'm comfortable with.  They have to be removed 10 or 5 years respectively and both can have complications.  They can affect menstruation and make it more uncomfortable for women.  So, um... no.  That time of the month already sucks, thanks though.
There are also the surgical procedures known as vasectomy {male} and tubal ligation {female} both of which have their side effects.  The one that freaks me out the most is that if a women does become pregnant after having her tubes tied, there is a {higher-than-I'm-comfortable} risk for the baby to grow outside of the uterus!  yikes! as in, anywhere in the abdominal cavity.  Very few babies survive and obviously there is a huge risk for mom as well.  And how can I ask someone I love to get a surgery to prevent conception, when I NEVER would?!

So, the pregnancy prevention option I and my husband are most comfortable with is Natural Family Planning {also known as Fertility Awareness}.  This method includes charting basal body temperature {the temperature of the female's body after at least 4 hours uninterupted sleep} there is a spike right before ovulation, cervical positioning daily, and discharge.  In order for this method to be successful it does take a lot of observation of the woman's body and also self awareness.

The chart from NFP, Fertility Awareness

Some great resources she suggested include:
The Beautiful Cervix Project {WARNING images of an actual cervix view at own discretion!}
Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH
Birth Control Buzz {lots of info about the pill and hormone options if you're into that}
Preventing Pregnancy {from the American Pregnancy Association}
Fertility Awareness Method on Preventing Pregnancy {a little more info about the choice we're making}

Got suggestions for Fertility Awareness resources or have thoughts on conception prevention?
Share them below in the comments, I'd love to hear them!


  1. I just go by my hormones haha! After having "oops" and "woops," I think I've finally figured out how to tell when I'm ovulating. I have a lot of friends who do the BBT method and have had it work. I always forget to take it, and just chart things monthly of when they start and stop and go off how I feel. The Hubs is considering a vasectomy, and I'm highly considering getting my uterus removed (for many reasons other than to avoid pregnancy). There's also the new Essure procedure which is also a permanent birth control method ( I'm looking into it, but have a feeling the ute removal may better suit my needs in the long run :)

  2. Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a must-read for sure. Such an interesting book. The thing I love about charting is that you really learn a ton about your body and it's pretty neat. That sounds nerdy, but it's true... :)

    I use 2 websites to chart, both the Taking Charge of Your Fertility website and Fertility Friend. Fertility Friend has an online "course" to teach you the basics. It's mostly geared towards trying to get pregnant, but it's easily adapted for pregnancy avoidance. Good luck! :)