Natural Methods Of Birth Control

1 What are Natural Methods of Birth Control?

Natural methods of birth control do not result in a hormone manipulation and requires that a woman and a man do not have sexual intercourse during the time when an egg can be fertilized by a sperm.

  • The fertility awareness methods (FAMs) determine the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. It can be used as a contraception method and to increase fertility. On the average, the egg is released about 14 days before a woman’s next menstrual period, the egg can survive 3 to 4 days and sperm can live 48 to 72 hours so the time when a woman can become pregnant can be measured but this must be continuous and monitored.
  • Calendar rhythm method must be based on 12 previous menstrual cycles to calculate a woman’s fertile period by using 18 days of her shortest menstrual cycle and 11 days of her longest menstrual cycle to determine her last fertile day. This method cannot be used by a woman with an irregular menstrual cycle. It is only about 80% effective so it must not be used alone.
  • The basal body temperature method uses a woman’s temperature to determine when woman is fertile because temperature drops 12 to 24 hours before an egg is released from ovary and increases when egg is released but only less than 1 degree F (about a half degree C) so woman should not have sexual intercourse at least 48 to 72 hours after her temperature increases. A woman must measure the temperature every morning before she gets out of a bad with very accurate and sensitive thermometer every month.
  • Mucus inspection method is based on the changes in woman’s cervical mucus because woman generates larger amounts of more watery mucus than usual (it looks like a raw egg white and stretched up to an inch when pulled apart) just before the release of an egg from her ovary. For using this method woman must learn how to recognize differences in the quality and quantity of her cervical mucus on her underwear, toilet tissue or pads.
  • The symptothermal method uses a combination of above three methods: calendar rhythm, the basal body temperature and mucus inspection with other symptoms like breast tenderness and slight cramping because some women can experience lower abdominal discomfort during the release of an egg.
  • An ovulation indicator testing kit measures the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine because the level of this hormone increases 20 to 48 hours before ovulation. Women can start using this test 2 or 3 days before she expects to ovulate based on her previous monthly cycle. After the levels increased, she must not have intercourse next 48 to 72 hours. This test is often used to increase the chance of a woman becoming pregnant.
  • The withdrawal method, also called coitus interruptus is used during intercourse. A man withdraws his penis from a woman’s vagina before he ejaculates so the sperm does not enter her vagina. This method is only 75%-80% accurate because a man can release small amounts of sperm before actual ejaculation, and a man needs good self-control and precise sense of timing.
  • Lactational infertility is based on natural postnatal infertility in women who are breastfeeding but women usually start ovulating again 10-12 weeks after delivery and some even sooner prior to the return of her menstrual period. If a woman does not wish to become pregnant again, she must start to use an appropriate method of contraception.
  • Vaginal douching is a process or rinsing the vagina with liquid solutions or water for a hygienic reason or as a contraception method. Most doctors and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) do not recommend it not for the hygienic reason or as a contraception method because, during intercourse, active sperm can reach a woman's cervix and even the upper part of her uterus within five minutes of ejaculation. Also, some women think that urinating immediately after sexual intercourse can reduce the chance to become pregnant but the effect is similar as in the vaginal douching.
  • Abstinence from vaginal sexual intercourse in only 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Also, it reduces the possibility of sexually transmitted infection (STD) but this refers only to complete abstinence from all vaginal, anal, and oral sexual activity.
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