Natural birth control and how it works

I suffered from severe side effects from birth control pills. Vomiting every day became a habit. Worst of all, however, was my affectless mood and the desire not to live anymore.

My parents used natural birth control and since that worked out very well for them, I wanted to give it a chance too. The great thing is that I also got to know my body and mind much better. Of course there are days when you should not sleep together (unless you want a child), but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an orgasm 😉

Since a few months I have been measuring my basal temperature, observing my cervical mucus and reading my mother’s borrowed book (Natural Birth Control by Margareth Nofziger) in detail. Here is a brief summary of it. The birth control described uses three different methods together:

  • Temperature method
  • Observation of the cervical mucus
  • Calendar method 

Fact is that the egg is only viable for 12-24 hours. The sperm can survive in the uterus for up to 5 days and can fertilize the egg as soon as ovulation has taken place. Therefore, you can also get pregnant before ovulation. 

You may have heard of the temperature method. The temperature (basal temperature) is measured BEFORE getting up. I do this under my tongue with an ordinary thermometer. It is important that you always do it in the same place and at the same time. The pearl index of the temperature method is 0.8 to 3. As a comparison: The pearl index of condoms is 2 to 12. 

Very, very important: Ovulation can shift through the following factors: Stress, travel, fever, and medication such as Antibiotics, sedatives. It is therefore important to take these factors into account and note them down. 

Record of basal body temperature

One is infertile as soon as temperatures have been measured 3 times in a row (two full days), all of which are at least 0.2 degrees higher than the temperatures of the six days before the rise. This means that from the 3rd day (higher temperature) you can again sleep together in the evening until you have your period. You can strike off a very high one from the six temperatures before the rise. If more than one temperature is at this level, don’t strike them off. 

Determine if pregnant

If the temperature stays up into the next cycle, you are most likely pregnant. If it’s erratic, you most probably aren’t. 

Observation of the cervical mucus

It is sufficient to examine the cervical mucus at the vaginal opening. It would be good several times a day. For example, immediately after getting up (before urinating and showering). But not when you are sexually aroused. There are four different phases. Right before ovulation (spinnable), the likelihood of becoming pregnant is the biggest.

  1. dry (infertile): Slightly moist on the inside but dry on the outside of the vagina. No feeling of discharge.
  2. Early mucus (little fertile): sparse, sticky, opaque white, doughy
  3. Moist (fertile): more mucus. more watery, clear, flowing.
  4. Spinnable (extremely fertile). Right before ovulation. Smooth and transparent thread. 

If you sleep together, you may still be wet the next morning. If you don’t know whether you have ovulated yet, abstain for a day and watch your mucus the next day. 

If you still have spinnable mucus on day 1 (higher temperature), wait for the moisture to settle before starting counting 1.

Calendar method

The calendar method used alone has a Pearl Index of 3-9. With this method you can calculate when the last infertile day of the phase before ovulation is. It is important to know how long your cycle normally is. The cycle length lasts from the first day of your period to and including the last day before your next period. The formula in this book uses 21 days instead of 18 to make it safer. 

Formula: Shortest cycle minus 21 = last infertile day of the phase before ovulation 

My shortest cycle is 33 days. That means from day 1 (beginning of period) until day 12 I am with high likelihood infertile. Nevertheless, I also use the symptothermal method (combination of temperature method and observation of the cervical mucus). The contraceptive reliability of the Symptothermal method is very high with sexual abstinence during the fertile days with a Pearl index of 0.4 to 2.3. I did not find the Pearl index for all three methods combined. The birth control pill has a Pearl Index from 0.1 to 0.9. 

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