Pregnency

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Natural Methods Of Contraception

Natural methods of Contraception



Overview

When followed properly by avoiding intercourse during the fertile phase, it can be 99 percent effective to avoid pregnancy. There will be no physical side effects. It involves assessing your body’s signs and symptoms time to time. It is important that you are aware of the natural methods and study your body. It takes 3-6 menstrual cycles to learn the method.  The following are the natural methods you can follow to avoid pregnancy.


Abstinence

What is abstinence?

The only sure way of not conceiving is by avoiding intercourse. However, this may not be good for your relationship with your partner.


Withdrawal method (Coitus interruptus) or pull out method



In this method, penis is withdrawn before ejaculation. This is a very unreliable and risky method and should not be depended upon, as it requires a great amount of self-control of the man. Sperm may enter the vagina even when penetration does not take place if it is not properly timed or if the fluid contains sperm before the ejaculation. 

This pulled out (withdrawal method) method does not protect you both from sexually transmitted infections. Some couples choose it as it is readily available, has no side effects, and does not require any prescriptions or fittings.


Calendar method or rhythm method



For this calendar method to be successful, it is important to pinpoint your ovulation time. Generally ovulation takes place in 14 days before the onset of next period. This can happen early or later depending on the length of your menstrual cycle. The length of a cycle can vary from month to month. If your periods occur at irregular intervals, it is difficult to tell the exact timing of ovulation.  

To be sure of your ovulation (most fertile days), you need to be measuring your menstrual cycle for six months at least to be precise enough. Please use the ovulation calculator tool to count your most fertile days and avoid sex during the time if you do not want to get pregnant. 


This calendar method may not work properly in below cases
  1. Have irregular periods
  2. Had an abortion or miscarriage recently
  3. Have delivered a baby recently
  4. Are breastfeeding
  5. Have infection such as sexual transmitted infection
  6. Have stopped taking hormonal contraceptives recently
  7. This does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV or Chlamydia.
  8. You need to avoid sex or use contraception such as condoms during which time you might get pregnant. Some couples find it difficult. 
  9. Sometimes there can be up to 16 days depending on your cycle; you cannot have sex.
  10. This is quite difficult when there is no co-operation or commitment of both you and your partner.
  11. This can take several menstrual cycles to become confident in assessing your ovulation time. It can be 2 or 3 cycles or even more. During this time you need to use contraception.
Cervical secretion monitoring method or Billings method or ovulation method



You may notice a thick, sticky and cloudy mucus secretion few days after your menstrual cycle and it changes to clear and stretchy around the time of ovulation, which attracts the sperm and allows easy penetration of it to fertilize the ovum. After the ovulation time is over, again the mucus becomes thick and gelatinous to sperms. 

To test vaginal secretions, wash the vaginal opening with soap before urination, and then insert your finger in the vagina to get the sample of the secretions. Notice the nature of the secretions. It is advised to get someone with experience to help you becoming familiar with this method. It will take few months to understand the secretions.  This method may not be desirable because it can cause vaginal infection and cannot be interpreted accurately by the layman.


Temperature method



The temperature usually rises by just 1 degree in most of the women with ovulation and dips by 1 degree on the Fahrenheit thermometer. You need to use a digital thermometer that is available from pharmacies. 

The temperature has to be taken every day at the same time when you wake up in the morning and before taking food and drink. It should be checked for at least 3 minutes. The temperature reading may vary based upon your menstrual cycle. 
In a 28 days cycle, the temperature rises approximately on the 14th day from the first day of your recent menstrual cycle.


Note: There are women who ovulate without a rise in basal body temperature.   

Combining method (also called symptothermal method)



Combining all the three rhythm method, mucus method, and temperature method is called Symptothermal method. This allows a woman to be more accurate in predicting her most fertile days.


Breastfeeding or Lactational Amenorrhoea Method (LAM)



It will change the hormone levels in your body and suppresses ovulation if you are breastfeeding your baby 100 percent that is to say you demand-feed your baby with no other supplementary foods or bottles.

Women do not get periods when they are breast feeding (this is called Lactational Amenorrhoea). Breastfeeding delay the onset of periods. Women who are fully breastfeeding can opt for this method up to six months after the delivery as long as she has no periods at all, and baby is having breast milk only and nothing else.

Using estrogen and progesterone oral contraception decreases breast milk production and may cause other side effects.

You could ovulate and become pregnant even when you do not have a period after delivery.

A breastfeeding woman should plan on starting a contraceptive pill about 21 days prior to starting her baby on supplementary foods or weaning.