Birth Control After This Baby - Let's Discuss the Options - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 36 Old 09-12-2011, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This baby is the first for us, and we may like to have one more but we'd like to space the next one around two-three years out. I spent a lot of time in my teens and early twenties on chemical forms of birth control - I've tried various formulas of the pill, the ring and most recently the Depo Provera shot. 

 

I don't want to go back on any of those options since I've read studies that state that long term use can start to have some negative effects on the body. And aside from that, I always had issues with severe headaches/migraines on all of them, so I'd really like to not repeat that experience. 

 

So, in terms of non-permanent non-chemical birth control, I think our options are condoms, IUD, and charting combined with breastfeeding... anyone want to help me pro and con these? Condoms I'm familiar with, IUD I know next to nothing about, and I have a basic understanding of charting and the effects of breastfeeding on fertility. 


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#2 of 36 Old 09-12-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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Well I will tell you what I am NOT doing.

 

A tubal ligation.....again...as in YES I had one.

 


8 years ago.

 

 

My oldest is going on 5.

 

Yes, you did that math right ;)

 

 

No, I didn't have a reversal.

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 36 Old 09-12-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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I had a DVT (blood clot) during my first pregnancy, so I'm not allowed to use any hormonal birth control...so it limits my options.  I'm pretty sure this is my last baby, but I don't want to completely close the book.  I've used the sponge in the past, and it worked okay.  I think I'm going to look more into the copper IUD (Mirena IUD has hormones, I don't think the copper one does.)  Looks like the best option for us so far, though it's not cheap.  I believe they can be inserted after 6 weeks postpartum.  I need to do a bit more research, but I've heard good things about them.


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#4 of 36 Old 09-12-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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After numerous different hormonal contraceptives that always left me feeling depressed, I had the copper IUD placed (never having been pregnant before and then after DS1 was born.  Breastfeeding and charting wasn't a good option for us after DS1 was born because I ovulated 4 weeks after birth (and if you know about your cycles you can't have a period without ovulating) and had my first period around the time of my 6 week postpartum appointment. I will get another IUD this time, but I'm considering the Mirena because over time it has the lowest hormone dose and is good for 5 years. We will probably try for a third and maybe a fourth before we are officially done, so I don't want anything permanent.

 

Copper IUD Pros: only have to check strings 1x/month, no interruption in spontaneity, no hormones, good for up to 10 years and you are fertile as soon as it is removed, insertion results in mild cramping which is easily treated with ibuprofen (nothing like the cramping and bleeding I had when I had one put in prior to ever being pregnant), it's highly effective and a good alternative to getting your tubes tied.

 

Copper IUD Cons: all IUD's can be expelled partially or completely (my second was about 18 months in - which happened to be about the time we were thinking about trying for #2 - we still didn't get pregnant because I was charting as well - but got pregnant our first month trying), increased bleeding and cramping during periods (some women deal with anemia), because there is a string going through the cervix there can be a increased risk of uterine infections (so you just have to stay on top of things like BV or yeast), it can be dislodged (rare) and perforate the uterus.

One thing my sister learned the hard way. When you have one removed, ALWAYS ask to see it. My sister didn't and the doctor she had never removed the old one and inserted a new one. Two years later she went in for emergency surgery because the old one had wandered into a fallopian tube which had to be removed. Her lifestyle isn't conducive to having children, but she really had a hard time knowing that her chances of having children were cut in half because of a doctor's error.

 

That's the low down from my perspective. As I said, I will be getting another one this time around, just contemplating whether it be another copper or Mirena.


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#5 of 36 Old 09-12-2011, 07:30 PM
 
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We've just used natural family planning and breastfeeding since our first baby.  All of our kids are 2 1/2 years apart.  This most recent baby is 2 weeks shy of 3 years from our previous baby.  My periods never come back before 18 months though, and then I'm still not fertile yet for a couple more months.


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#6 of 36 Old 09-12-2011, 09:35 PM
 
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I had the copper IUD for 8 years before DH and I decided to try for baby #1, I loved it, no problems or complications.  I have a very hard time with hormone birth control so it's great for me.  We conceived the first month trying after it was removed.  We decided to try charting and EBFing for the first year after DS and I got pregnant when he was 7 months old, hence the LO I'm due with any day now.  We wanted another eventually so we are very happy about it but I can say I don't think it's totally reliable, even if you are being very careful.  I have scheduled to get a copper IUD at my 6 PP check up.    


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#7 of 36 Old 09-12-2011, 10:38 PM
 
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OMG! How horrible. I hope your sister sued for damages... I mean I'm not all lawyer happy or anything, but I would seriously want someone to pay for such a negligent mistake.

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Originally Posted by time4latte View Post

One thing my sister learned the hard way. When you have one removed, ALWAYS ask to see it. My sister didn't and the doctor she had never removed the old one and inserted a new one. Two years later she went in for emergency surgery because the old one had wandered into a fallopian tube which had to be removed. Her lifestyle isn't conducive to having children, but she really had a hard time knowing that her chances of having children were cut in half because of a doctor's error.


As for me, I had the copper (non-hormonal) IUD prior to deciding to get pregnant, and will have one after as well. It worked well for me as I have extreme sensitivities to hormones, and can't imagine that hormonal BC would be conducive to nursing either (is it?)... of course being a SMC, this really won't be an issue for me for at least a year or so... if that.

 


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#8 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 05:06 AM
 
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I would not rely on breastfeeding alone - definitely chart, especially if you were doing so before you got pregnant with this baby. Between DS and this pregnancy, we basically charted and used condoms during fertile times. my cycles were back at 4 months PP (FWIW, we don't - can't - do what they call ecological breastfeeding. I work outside the home so can't be around for the 24/7 sucking needs that particular method calls for. he used a paci, and still uses his thumb for comfort) I really think it is just more that every womn's body returns to "normal" at a different rate, and especially with this being your first, there's no way to know how fast your body will return to normal - fertility wise.

 

We decided to not exactly try, but give up on condoms anyway, when DS turned 1. We got our BFP the day he turned 14 months old. The thing I like about charting is it is pretty easy to go between Trying to Avoid and Trying to Concieve.

 

As for IUD - I've seriously considered the copper IUD. But maybe after baby #3. We want another after this one, but not sure of the timing. Plan on charting/using condoms. Though when we are for sure done, DH is getting snipped!

 

I love hearing all of the positive stories about the copper IUD; alot of what you hear is scary. (but I think those stories tend to be really old ones)


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#9 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 05:21 AM
 
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We use NFP/ Ecological breastfeeding. My kids will be almost 3 years apart, so it worked very well for us the first time. Most of my friends are NFPers and their kids are all about 2 1/2 years apart. BUT, I am friends with a woman whose fertility returns about 8 weeks after she gives birth, even while tandem nursing on demand and co sleeping etc. Some women are crazy fertile!

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#10 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The copper IUD is what I'm leaning toward... I'd love to just do nothing and magically not get pregnant again quickly though - to bad there's no way to have that work! I do wonder about the heavier cramping and bleeding on it - I tend to have pretty bad cramping normally. For those that use it, do you notice a significant difference in your periods with it versus without? 


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#11 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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I work in family planning and both IUD options are quite popular..especially Mirena right now.  I have had success with the mini-pill (low estrogen) when combined with breastfeeding.  Good luck exploring your options!


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#12 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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Just to second not relying on breastfeeding. I got pregnant when my daughter was 11 months old... literally with one night of unprotected sex!! I should have known better though I had just had a period a few weeks earlier.

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#13 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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Mommel - no she didn't sue. She was living in a foreign country at the time. It wasn't until she came back that it was discovered. It's just made me realize that it's wise to make sure it's truly out when it's time to get it removed - for another baby or to get it replaced.

If I didn't have such a positive experience with an IUD I wouldn't be considering it again.


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#14 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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In answer to the question about cramping... I did notice an increase in cramping, though not bleeding. However, I had not been pregnant before getting it inserted and was heavily cautioned about that side effect. For me, the extra pain each month was definitely worth not being on hormones. I am INSANE when my hormonal balance is messed with. I think the only reason Mirena is so popular is due to the heavy marketing of it by big pharma. I believe that Mirena also has a copper component, about the same size as the non-hormonal IUD, so I agree that the only thing keeping women from a non-hormonal version are old stories about problems with IUDs from the 70s combined with marketing the Mirena.


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#15 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 09:03 AM
 
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I also had a copper IUD placed before I had gotten pregnant. I don't really recommend that (placement before pregnancy). It was not pleasant to have it placed... *shudder*. I hadn't even really considered it to be an option because the placement was difficult and the cramps and heavy bleeding were tough. I always had really bad cramps with my period until after I got pregnant and then didn't ever have another cramp with a period at all. But, I have only had roughly 6 periods since Dec of 2007. lol I did love the IUD though because I was off hormones and we didn't have to think about anything. My DH occasionally complained of feeling the strings, but I hear they soften up. I had the IUD removed 4 months later because we were thinking seriously about having kids by then and the cramping was hard to deal with. I wish that maybe I had done things differently, but we very successfully used NFP and occasional diaphrams for the next year before getting pregnant. I hate condoms.

My mom and grandmother have a history of fibroids so that is something that I want to research a little more before having another IUD placed especially since I have had children now. I don't know if fibroids can increase the chance of the IUD becoming imbedded/stuck/fall out.

 

So, it's a good thing that this thread got started, because I honestly hadn't thought about it at all. After my first baby my period came back at 12 weeks pp with exclusive nursing. I was so mad. I did chart, but my cycles were all over and hard to figure out. We got pregnant at 7 months pp. Which was a surprise to both of us! :) But, we were out of town that weekend and I knew we should have been preventing and I even told my husband but... :)

 

After my second, I was not excited about getting pregnant again and my DH was totally freaked out about it so I had the implanon placed at 8 weeks pp. Super easy, but I was constantly sick with some virus or other. And I mean constantly. I got cold after cold and a nasty lung infection. I would get sick and my two kids and husband never did. I never had a period though. I also had major mood issues. After about 10 months my sweet husband finally said that something had to change... The mood issues were that bad. So, again I charted and in December we decided that after the first of the year (after our 2nd son turned 1) we would stop preventing and just let God decide when the next baby would come. 5 days into the year I ovulated... and now I am due in 2 weeks!!! :)

 

My DH says he doesn't want any more kids after this one. I don't want to do anything permanent for at least a year. So, we did have a little discussion last night and I think we will use spermicide until my cycle starts up again and then make a decision about what we want to do, IUD, diaphram etc.

 

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#16 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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We have used breastfeeding only and for us it has worked wonderfully. Although I think it is important to add that we also bed share, nurse on demand until they are weaned, and do not suppliment with formula at all. I think all of those combined are why this works so well for us. Using this method after our first I got my af back 3 times and got pg at 24 months pp, never got my af back after our second and got my bfp at 21 months pp and then got my af back 4 times and got our bfp at 21 months again after our third.

 

Another thing to note is that between our first and second I got my af back 3 times on the 7th calender day of each month which made my cycles longer than 28 days. We were planning on waiting a few months before trying so we were being careful but we concieved on CD 8. When going back to Jan 7th (the first pp af) if I counted 28 days for 3 months I found out that even though I was getting my af on cycles that ranged longer than 28 days I was still ovulating on the 14th cd of a 28 day cycle (hope that makes sense). So I actually was on cd 14 when I thought I was on cd 8 and that is why I was fertile. With this pregnancy we were trying. We didn't get pg the first month but we did on the second month. We actually started a little earlier doing the bd the second month and apparently that is what paid off. By ultrasound my dd is a week sooner than calculating from my lmp. I have wondered this whole pregnancy why that is and then last week I decided to go back to my first pp af back in Sept and start counting 28 day cycles and BINGO! I again was having cycles that were 30-31 days in length but if I was ovulating on the 14th cd of a 28 day cycle my dd is exactly what my ultrasound dd is. Just my nerdy facts LOL ;)

 

Our plan for after this pregnancy is to use the same method until about 1 year pp and then see where we are at as far as having one more or possibly dh getting a vascetomy. I really don't want him to do it until I am 40 but that is five years from now and if we decide to quit having babies we will have to also quit having sex LOL because chances are if we don't I will end up getting pregnant again. If it happens before 1 year pp then in my mind that's God's plan....

 

Amy

 

 

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#17 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 10:24 AM
 
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I do terrible on hormonal birth control. Ive tried about everything. I can say that personally I believe the Depo Vera shot is from the devil! Stay away from that if your life depends on it. As far as the other options I think its how our body handles it. Sounds like a lot of you ladies did fine on the copper IUD but it was awful for me  because my periods became severe. As in, how can I bleed this much and not pass out. Long and heavy. I even bled when my MW took it out and she could barely see what she was doing. She wondered how I even lasted as long as I did on it. And I am not a heavy bleeder normally. Go figure. The patch and the nuva ring were okay but funny enough the ring comes out during sex, and yep, guess where it ends up! LOL! Ring toss anyone? I just dont like the hormones at all. I dont feel myself. Although my last try at hormonal birth control was the Mirena IUD and out of them all I liked it the best. I spotted for about 6 weeks then got no period at all. Id say I had a harder time with my weight on it, but I didnt feel an emotional basket case like I did on the pill or the depo shot. And no period, Okay! Im about done celebrating my moon to be honest with ya. ;-) So I am considering this my best option. Its a low dose progesterone and most women are estrogen dominant anyway, which is what makes us feel a little batty mid cycle. Ive actually had my MW give me topical progesterone to help balance my hormones. Granted Im sure the sources are different. But Ive got to do something, because my body objects to having another baby! :-)


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#18 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried the ring for about a month and then had to go back to Depo because it came out literally every time we had sex. I didn't really make me feel confident about preventing pregnancy... I hadn't even thought of diaphragms or cervical caps - what's the deal with those? I think I've read that you need to use spermicide with both to make them really effective and that you need to insert them an hour or two before sex?

 


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#19 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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Another one here who had the copper IUD and will be doing that again.  I had it for 9 years total and loved it for 8 years.  I think in the last year it shifted or something because I started to get mid-cycle breakthrough bleeding, really annoying.  For me, my AF was longer with the IUD but I didn't get cramps or anything like that and minus that last year, when it was coming up on having to be removed and replaced anyway, it was terrific.  I was pregnant the second cycle after removal and the first cycle of charting.

 

We are 99.9% sure though that we are done after this baby so DH will also get a vasectomy.  I might actually get the IUD out once he's had that done and all the follow-up testing has come back.  We are leaving that up in the air though and will see what happens after the baby is here (soon please!).


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#20 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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Another NFP/Ecological Breastfeeding user here. We successfully prevented pregnancy for 5 years before we were ready to conceive our first, and then for 2 years after our son was born, even though my cycle returned at 9 months PP. We didn't exactly plan this pregnancy, but I had gotten really lax about charting. Basically, I was just keeping track of the first day of my period and we weren't using any other form of BC (normally we use condoms or withdrawal during fertile times. I guess that is more FAM than NFP). So we weren't really surprised to find out I was pregnant. winky.gif

 

I don't do hormonal BC because I don't believe it's healthy to disrupt a natural process. The copper IUD scares me because I have such a hard time with regular periods, and I don't want to take a chance of making them worse. I'm not comfortable with the risks of the IUD, either. And I'm not willing to do a tubal ligation. If my husband decides that he's willing to have a vasectomy, I'll support his decision, but I would never ask him to do it. If I'm not willing to do it, I wouldn't expect him to. I don't think either of us are ready for a permanent solution anyway.

 

I like charting because I feel more in tune with my body. I don't see it as a chore or one more thing that I have to do. So, I think we will just stick with that for now. thumb.gif

 

ETA: Meant to ask... do any of the NFP'ers use Cycle Beads? I was thinking about buying the app for my phone and not the actual beads when my cycle returns.


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#21 of 36 Old 09-13-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bignerpie View Post

Another NFP/Ecological Breastfeeding user here. We successfully prevented pregnancy for 5 years before we were ready to conceive our first, and then for 2 years after our son was born, even though my cycle returned at 9 months PP. We didn't exactly plan this pregnancy, but I had gotten really lax about charting. Basically, I was just keeping track of the first day of my period and we weren't using any other form of BC (normally we use condoms or withdrawal during fertile times. I guess that is more FAM than NFP). So we weren't really surprised to find out I was pregnant. winky.gif

 

I don't do hormonal BC because I don't believe it's healthy to disrupt a natural process. The copper IUD scares me because I have such a hard time with regular periods, and I don't want to take a chance of making them worse. I'm not comfortable with the risks of the IUD, either. And I'm not willing to do a tubal ligation. If my husband decides that he's willing to have a vasectomy, I'll support his decision, but I would never ask him to do it. If I'm not willing to do it, I wouldn't expect him to. I don't think either of us are ready for a permanent solution anyway.

 

I like charting because I feel more in tune with my body. I don't see it as a chore or one more thing that I have to do. So, I think we will just stick with that for now. thumb.gif

 

ETA: Meant to ask... do any of the NFP'ers use Cycle Beads? I was thinking about buying the app for my phone and not the actual beads when my cycle returns.

 

Sorry, DDC. In case you've not thought of it ... NFP doesn't work well when you are perimenopausal. Ask me how I know.winky.gif
 

 

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#22 of 36 Old 09-14-2011, 04:41 AM
 
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I use an iPhone app (the one for Fertility Friend) - I can't use cycle beads really because you have to be pretty regular to use them - or at least that's my understanding. The cycles I had while breastfeeding weren't always ovulatory I think, and well, they were just long and messed up.

 

 


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#23 of 36 Old 09-14-2011, 06:05 AM
 
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Just found this article today - another pro of IUD's - they reduce your risk over cervical cancer if worn for at least a year.....

 

http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2011/09/study-iud-cuts-risk-of-cervical-cancer-in-half/


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#24 of 36 Old 09-14-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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Cycle beads aren't very trustworthy. If you're serious about avoiding, I wouldn't use them.

 

I charted and used condoms during the fertile phase (abstained for a week around ovulation when we really did not want to conceive). Now, my husband will be getting a vasectomy and we'll use condoms until he gets the all clear. We're pretty much doing ecological breastfeeding too so the condoms are just extra protection. Not that we're having sex at all right now as the baby's only a week old. ;)

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#25 of 36 Old 09-14-2011, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The charting method in the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility seems logical and as though it would work. Anyone have experience with it?


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#26 of 36 Old 09-14-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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I have used it, both for trying to get pregnant and preventing. The major issue I have with it and other NFP methods is that I have to abstain during the time of the month when I most feel like having sex, possible the ONLY time of the month. ;)  We are definitely done now and DH will be having a vasectomy, though it had better be soon. He had just gotten comfortable with the idea and agreed to do it when we found out we were pregnant with this one!

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#27 of 36 Old 09-14-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post

The charting method in the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility seems logical and as though it would work. Anyone have experience with it?



This is what I usually go by when I get serious about charting. It did keep us from getting pregnant and helped with getting pregnant when we were ready. 

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#28 of 36 Old 09-14-2011, 02:58 PM
 
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I used this both when we were trying (first time around took us 6 months, second time 1st active month trying to get pregnant) and after my IUD was removed and we weren't really actively trying or avoiding. You don't have to abstain during your fertile time, you can use another method (i.e. condom, diaphram, spermicide, etc.) It's great if you don't want to have to use those things all the time only when you really have to. I didn't really track my temp when I did it, just monitored my cervical fluid ... which is really only doing it half way, but my body works on 28/29 day cycles like clockwork so I could really cheat a little.
 

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The charting method in the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility seems logical and as though it would work. Anyone have experience with it?



 


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#29 of 36 Old 09-14-2011, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad to hear so many positive responses on the book's method. I have a 28 day cycle, like clockwork every month so I think it would work especially well for us, especially combined with breastfeeding. It's starting to become the most attractive option for me - I like the non-hormonal IUD in concept, but the chance of heavier periods and cramping really gives me pause. 


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#30 of 36 Old 09-14-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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I agree that TCOYF is a GREAT read and works well.  It's a very reliable method if used correctly.  As others have said, you don't HAVE to abstain from dtd during fertile times, you can just use another method, like condoms, etc.  I actually thought it was kind of fun during those times when we were trying to avoid to get a little more imaginative because condoms make dh last longer so it was kinda fun.  Sheepish.gif  


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