Interested in Natural Family Planning? Here is a Quick Overview

By Eva

What is Natural Family Planning?

Fertility awareness, more often referred to as natural family planning, is about tracking your menstrual cycle to determine the days you are fertile, have an ovulation, and can get pregnant. You also track when it is safe to have sex without getting pregnant.

How does it work?

There are different ways to track your menstrual cycle. To do this you have to pay very close attention to your body and its patterns. There are three methods of natural family planning: the rhythm method, symptothermal method, and the cervical mucus method.

How do you use it?

There are different ways to monitor your day-to-day fertility.
– Standard days method: If you have regular periods with a cycle between 26 and 32 days, you can use this method to record when you get your periods and when you can’t get pregnant.
– Two day method: With this method you observe your cervical secretions two times a day to see when you’re fertile. If you see secretions of any type, color, or consistency you can consider yourself fertile.
– Basal body temperature: To use this method you chart your body temperature every single morning to determine whether you’re ovulating.
– Lactational method: Breastfeeding is a natural method to prevent pregnancies. If you’ve just had a baby and breastfeed in a very specific way, this method will work.

How much does it cost?

Fertility awareness methods take time and commitment, and they do not cost a lot. A thermometer can cost around $10 at any grocery or drug store. There are also a fertility tracking system, Wink by Kindara, that you can order fo $129. There are also charts you can download to help you take charge of your fertility. Cyclebeads is a color-coded string of beads that represents a days of a woman’s cycle and helps her use the standard days method correctly. It is available as a app, physical beads and in deluxe versions, and ranging from $10-$25. It is also possible to go to classes to learn how to use the fertility awareness method, the cost lays from free to $25-$100 per hour.

Side effects?

With all methods of natural family planning, there are positive and negative side effects. The positive sides effect are that is is free, you don’t need a prescription, there are no hormones added to your body, and you’ll learn more about your body. Some of the negative side effects are that it takes planning, record-keeping, and self-control. You also have to stay abstinent for at least a week per cycle, it can be difficult to use if you have irregular periods, and it is not safe to use if you have just stopped using hormonal contraception.

Is this right for you?

This method is right for you if you want to know your body better, you wouldn’t mind getting pregnant, if you’re okay with abstinence from sex during your fertile time every month, and if you want a method with no side effects.

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