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Favorite Non-hormonal Birth Control - Page 2

post #21 of 37

The copper coil is an IUD which contains copper.  I have a Nova T380.

 

I didn't make an error.  I either ovulated twice or my egg lasted 8 days.  I am guessing the first is more likely.  I had sex 6 days before AF in the cycle before.  Then nothing for 3 weeks.  I had EWCM, i had my temp rise, my EWCM stopped, i waited 4 days as usual before calling it "safe", it was 4 more before we DTD (because XP and i hardly ever DTD anyway) then we DTD for the only time that cycle.  At the time of DTD my cervix was medium height, hard and closed, i had no EWCM (CM was cloudy and "dry").  My temp stayed high (didn't do anything abnormal).  A week later i was waiting for AF.  Temp still high.  Gave it another week.  Temp still high.  Tested +ve.  Didn't have sex again until i was 13 weeks PG.  DD was born looking on-time at EDD+11 so i don't think there's any way i was PG the cycle before, didn't have a normal pregnant temp rise, and had a fake AF (unless she was born at 45+4 still covered in vernix and with short nails etc.).

 

I would never use FAM again, because i know it might not work for me.  And i know nothing is 100%, but equally i got pregnant on the BCP once and i'd never use THAT again either! :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaaJ View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

copper coil

 

though i got pregnant on FAM (after nearly 3 years of using it successfully, so not a newbie error!) which clouds my view of it a little! :)


What is copper coil?? (Sorry if I sound totally ignorant!)

 

And what was your error while using the FAM, if you don't mind my asking..

post #22 of 37

Am I the only one that had total success using the Pull Out Method?

post #23 of 37
The main kinds of birth control I've used is FAM (favorite book is Taking Charge of Your Fertility), and a diaphragm.

The effectiveness of a diaphragm used with spermicide compares with condoms. They've lost a lot of popularity in recent years because they aren't the easiest to learn to use, but I think learning to insert one properly is a good way to understand your anatomy and become comfortable with your body.

Diaphragms are cheap, including spermicide its a one time cost of around $70 without insurance. You only have to replace it every 2 years, or if you gain or lose significant weight, and of course after a pregnancy.
post #24 of 37

I used hormonal birth control for about 6 mths but gave it up at 19 because I hated the side effects and what it was doing to my body.  So for about 7 years my boyfriend and I used condoms only.  Once we got married I used the "rhythm method" I guess you could say.  I never charted anything or took temps, I just went by my body signs and cervical changes.  It worked for 3 years and then I got pregnant unexpectedly.

 

I tried doing the same thing the 2nd time around but I guess I didn't wait long enough for my cyclesto get regular again and I got pregnant again when my son was 10 mths.  I think we will just go back to condoms until my period comes back and is regular.

 

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
I didn't make an error.  I either ovulated twice or my egg lasted 8 days.  I am guessing the first is more likely.  I had sex 6 days before AF in the cycle before.  Then nothing for 3 weeks.  I had EWCM, i had my temp rise, my EWCM stopped, i waited 4 days as usual before calling it "safe", it was 4 more before we DTD (because XP and i hardly ever DTD anyway) then we DTD for the only time that cycle.  At the time of DTD my cervix was medium height, hard and closed, i had no EWCM (CM was cloudy and "dry").  My temp stayed high (didn't do anything abnormal).  A week later i was waiting for AF.  Temp still high.  Gave it another week.  Temp still high.  Tested +ve.  Didn't have sex again until i was 13 weeks PG.  DD was born looking on-time at EDD+11 so i don't think there's any way i was PG the cycle before, didn't have a normal pregnant temp rise, and had a fake AF (unless she was born at 45+4 still covered in vernix and with short nails etc.).
 


Crazy!  What a miracle!  I'd love to see that chart.

post #26 of 37

I'm pretty sure it's in my garage!  i kept it and showed it to many baffled doctors and midwives....  if i find it i'll upload it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
I didn't make an error.  I either ovulated twice or my egg lasted 8 days.  I am guessing the first is more likely.  I had sex 6 days before AF in the cycle before.  Then nothing for 3 weeks.  I had EWCM, i had my temp rise, my EWCM stopped, i waited 4 days as usual before calling it "safe", it was 4 more before we DTD (because XP and i hardly ever DTD anyway) then we DTD for the only time that cycle.  At the time of DTD my cervix was medium height, hard and closed, i had no EWCM (CM was cloudy and "dry").  My temp stayed high (didn't do anything abnormal).  A week later i was waiting for AF.  Temp still high.  Gave it another week.  Temp still high.  Tested +ve.  Didn't have sex again until i was 13 weeks PG.  DD was born looking on-time at EDD+11 so i don't think there's any way i was PG the cycle before, didn't have a normal pregnant temp rise, and had a fake AF (unless she was born at 45+4 still covered in vernix and with short nails etc.).
 


Crazy!  What a miracle!  I'd love to see that chart.

post #27 of 37

FWIW...my husband could feel my diaphram and he hated it.

post #28 of 37

Ah, the pesky non-hormonal birth control question. I struggle with this on a regular basis. Last time I was on the Pill (after having been on the patch) was a low point in my life and relationship with my (then newlywed) husband. I don't think I tolerate hormones well either. One day I just stopped taking the Pill, and it's amazing how much better things have been since.

 

I used LadyComp for awhile after that (it's a computerized thermometer basically, which predicts your fertility using basal body temperature only), and then got pregnant on what I think was a "yellow" (use caution) day when I ovulated earlier in a cycle than I normally do, though we knew we weren't being perfectly "safe." I don't really blame the device, but I do think its predictive powers are iffy when your cycle is as irregular as mine was in those days (some 45+ day cycles; even a 50+ day cycle, but never regular and often anovulatory). One of the bigger problems with it was we got so few "green" days (safe days); ideally, as it learns your cycle you get more "safe" days, but it can get frustrating when almost all month is "yellow" (learning your cycle/use caution) or "red" (high fertility) days. I have a friend who used the cheaper version of this device, Pearly, successfully for several years, and if I had to do it over again, I'd buy Pearly rather than LadyComp, which I paid more for because I was told I wouldn't have to send it in to get the battery replaced (it turns out this is not the case; although you can recharge the battery on LadyComp, once the rechargeable battery loses its ability to hold a charge, you still have to return it and pay for a new one; Pearly's battery is not rechargeable and needs to be replaced every so often). I think FAM has some of the same drawbacks as LadyComp/Pearly, but if you can be well disciplined either method is a good option.

 

After this baby was born my midwife suggested NuvaRing, but I wasn't willing to go on hormonal birth control again, especially while breastfeeding. We've been using a combination of withdrawal (very occasionally), outercourse, and FAM. I'm not great about charting, especially with a co-sleeping, nursing toddler, but I am working on it, and I love the more intimate knowledge it gives me about my body's cycles. I monitor basal temperature (as best I can), cervical fluid/mucus, and cervical position, and I use an online fertility program (I've tried both FertilityFriend and the website associated with Taking Charge of Your Fertility--TCOYF) to track my cycles. I also highly recommend Toni Weschler's book; I own a copy and it's an invaluable resource.

 

I think since you're planning to TTC in a few months, FAM would be a good choice for you. I don't think it's a great option if an "oops" baby would be devastating, especially if you're just learning how to do it; in our case, we'd be fine if we had another pregnancy (especially now that DS is over 20 months old), so I feel pretty comfortable using it. My cycles post-pregnancy, once they returned at 9 months postpartum, have also been more regular and that helps a lot. We've been considering getting a diaphragm too, but I haven't used one before, so I can't recommend it one way or another.

 

If you are going to try FAM, I would highly recommend taking vaginal rather than oral temperatures--you want to be consistent within a cycle (so don't start temping vaginally if you've been temping orally until the start of a new cycle), but I've noticed much more regular temps once I switched from oral to vaginal (I think I'm a bit of a mouth breather at night, especially in cold and flu season).

 

Good luck!

post #29 of 37

Many, many women use FAM or the "rythym method" but I find it extremely difficult and iffy. There is a lot of work to be done, every single day, with dedication. And then there is the periodic abstinence, which I just can't rely on. 

I think there's an idea that birth control is all or nothing- it's either the iud, the pill, or some form of "winging it" be that withdrawal or infrequency or monitoring fertility. That's not the case at all.

 

There's also condoms, female condoms, the today sponge, diaphragm, cervical cap, and spermicide in film, foam, cream, or jelly. All these are barrier methods, which is a really great middle ground between hormonal/medical methods and the "natural" methods which I don't trust (sorry, I just don't, a woman can ovulate spontaneously at any point in the cycle after all). Some of these methods are probably covered by your health insurance, even my lousy HMO will cover over-the-counter contraceptives.

 

Spermicide is especially great. It is very easy to get at many drugstores, grocery stores, and target. You don't have to see a doctor or get a PAP to use it. The film is very easy, and it is very small, and I have not found it to cause any irritation in either partner. Some people are more sensitive to the foam and gel but that's usually because of the large volume of goo that the spermicide's in- the film has very little carrier media and stays in a glob where it belongs. It has no odor and very little taste. Neither partner can feel it. It's especially great for a back-up method to FAM during the fertile days mid cycle. It's fully reversible, if you decide you'd like to get pregnant, just don't use it any more. 

post #30 of 37

I just started reading TCOYF and I definitely want to start charting. I don't want to want to rely on it as birth control (at least not for a while) but I love the idea of knowing exactly what's going on with my cycle. The only thing I'm concerned about is that I often have my diaphragm in all night and then take it out in the morning and have spermicide leaking out for a while. So I'm worried it might be hard to figure out my cervical fluid. 

 

Does anyone else chart and use a diaphragm? 

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by averlee View Post

Many, many women use FAM or the "rythym method" but I find it extremely difficult and iffy. There is a lot of work to be done, every single day, with dedication. And then there is the periodic abstinence, which I just can't rely on. 

I think there's an idea that birth control is all or nothing- it's either the iud, the pill, or some form of "winging it" be that withdrawal or infrequency or monitoring fertility. That's not the case at all.

 

There's also condoms, female condoms, the today sponge, diaphragm, cervical cap, and spermicide in film, foam, cream, or jelly. All these are barrier methods, which is a really great middle ground between hormonal/medical methods and the "natural" methods which I don't trust (sorry, I just don't, a woman can ovulate spontaneously at any point in the cycle after all). Some of these methods are probably covered by your health insurance, even my lousy HMO will cover over-the-counter contraceptives.

 

Spermicide is especially great. It is very easy to get at many drugstores, grocery stores, and target. You don't have to see a doctor or get a PAP to use it. The film is very easy, and it is very small, and I have not found it to cause any irritation in either partner. Some people are more sensitive to the foam and gel but that's usually because of the large volume of goo that the spermicide's in- the film has very little carrier media and stays in a glob where it belongs. It has no odor and very little taste. Neither partner can feel it. It's especially great for a back-up method to FAM during the fertile days mid cycle. It's fully reversible, if you decide you'd like to get pregnant, just don't use it any more. 


Just a quick note--FAM and the "rhythm method" are not the same thing. ;)  Also, the effectiveness is pretty high if you wait to have unprotected sex until AFTER ovulation. But, you're right, it can be a lot of work and the signs aren't always clear or easy to interpret. Plus it requires a lot of self-discipline, which is part of why I don't personally recommend it if you absolutely can't handle an unplanned pregnancy.

 

I agree with your suggestions for barrier methods and think they're good ones; I also agree that birth control is not "all or nothing" and there's a lot of middle ground.

 

I've tried the spermicidal film, however, and hated it. I couldn't get it to work right (I couldn't get it to unfold and dissolve properly), and my understanding of spermicide alone is that it's really not very effective unless used with condoms or a diaphragm. (Planned Parenthood's website gives a 15/100 pregnancy rate in the first year used properly, and a more likely failure rate of 29/100.)

post #32 of 37

Abstinence is my preference, but I lack a libido. Second to that is Fertility Awareness. And third, because I choose to take methotrexate, I also choose VCF. Vaginal contraceptive film. It is not hormonal, and not natural. It is spermicide in a sheet of a gelatine-like film that gets folded up and shoved up to the cervix. A few minutes later, the spermicide is spread across that area.

 

That way, when the doctor complains that I am not on "the pill" or "the shot" (which is none of their...), I can use abstinence and VCF as the two methods of birth control to shut them up about the two methods of birth control suggested for methotrexate use. Good luck!

post #33 of 37

nfp


Edited by Lenasmama - 8/31/13 at 2:00am
post #34 of 37

Yes, I have this dilemma as well...  We used FAM quite successfully for years, but after my dd was born it took a long time for my cycles to regulate again and we ended up with an oops baby.  Granted it was a 5 day old sperm situation, so a little unlikely, but still.  After ds was born I started charting again as soon as I noticed fertile CF and caught O a couple months later.  My LP was very short so I figured it would take a while to regulate my cycles again, but then oops!!  Baby #3 was conceived on a day with no fertile signs.  So, I have to say that charting works great when you're not breastfeeding and co-sleeping and as long as you practice for a least a few cycles before relying on it, but post babies it has been my experience that it can take over a year to readjust to new body rhythms before being reliable again. 

 

So now I'm on the hunt for something more effective after this baby comes.  We considered a vasectomy for dh, but there are a lot of possible side effects to that.  I am not at all interested in the copper IUD as I've read about way too many IUD babies, not to mention the heavier bleeding and all the other weird complications that a lot of women get like anxiety, severe mood swings, depression, fatigue, etc.  I considered film, but if I'm going to bother with that, it seems like we might as well just go for condoms in combo with charting. 

 

OP, sounds like you're getting going with charting, which is great, especially since you will be TTC soon.  As others have mentioned I love TCOYF and use it in combination with www.fertilityfriend.com.  FF is great, but I have often had to use my own judgment to pinpoint O, going against what FF thinks.  For this reason, I highly recommend feeling confident on your own without the aid of a program before using a program to assist you.  FF does have a charting "course" you can take and it can be good practice, but I still think the best way to get confident is simply to do it for several months.

post #35 of 37

DH and I used condoms (inconsistently) + pull out + my own intuition (rhythm?) for the 2 years I was off the pill and we wanted to avoid conception.  I actually thought we might have fertility issues when we did TTC because we weren't always on point with any of the above and we didn't get pregnant.  I was on the pill for 7 years before that and I frequently missed days and I never got pregnant then either - hence my concern about our fertility.

 

Totally unnecessary - when we chose to TTC, the very first cycle I knew I was ovulating (I was hyper-sexual, which only happens when I ovulate), I told DH I was ovulating just before we DTD, and sure enough - two weeks later, BFP. DD is 12 months now and I still do not have AF.  When I am fertile again, we will likely TTC since we would like our children spaced fairly close together. As for right now, we are not avoiding at all, but I doubt that I will be able to conceive until I nightwean. That being said, a pregnancy right now would be just fine!  

 

When the second is born (assuming there is a second of course), we will have to be more diligent in actively avoiding because while we are open to a third, I don't know that I want 3 very close together.  I have been thinking that in addition to the condoms + pull out + rhythm that I would also add charting. The problem is that I know I was not consistent with the pill, I am not sure I have the self-discipline to take my temp and check cervical mucous and position every day.  In any case, I will be in the same position as the OP at that point because I refuse to use hormonal BC ever again and I've heard too many horror stories about IUDs (both copper and hormonal) to ever consider using one.  

post #36 of 37

Charting and temping, NFP

post #37 of 37

Well, now that my 3 year dry spell is over, I'm using (latex-free) condoms.  I don't abhor them like I used to; actually, so long as I use the Trojan Supra ones, I prefer them.

 

However, my cycle is pretty darn regular (if shorter than I'd like) & painfully obvious - I can pretty much determine where I am in my cycle just by how slippery it is when I wipe with my morning pee + how horny I am.  So, I think I can start successfully charting & combining FAM + (latex-free) diaphragm, which I have an appointment to be fitted for next week.  I loved my diaphragm back in the day, but developed a latex allergy.  I look forward to having it again!

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