Favorite Non-hormonal Birth Control - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 37 Old 01-02-2011, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So the more I read, the more I'm convinced some of the things I'm unhappy with regarding my body (low sex drive, acne, etc.) are at least partially caused by my Mirena and I want it out. We're going to start TTC later this year, but I really wouldn't want to get pregnant quite yet.

 

So what kinds of non-hormonal BC do people like and why? I've only ever used hormonal and honestly, most of them have sucked. Beyond that, I'd like to be as "natural' as possible because when I start TTC, I have an ideal window that I'd like to conceive in and it seems that that's more likely to happen if I don't have hormones in my system. Plus what's the point in taking out the IUD (which is super convenient BTW) if I get all the symptoms back on the new BC?


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#2 of 37 Old 01-04-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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I love my diaphragm. :)


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#3 of 37 Old 01-04-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Condoms


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#4 of 37 Old 01-04-2011, 08:00 PM
 
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I'll second condoms. Besides providing birth control, they make sex much more tidy. 

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#5 of 37 Old 01-04-2011, 08:43 PM
 
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really? i get to be the first one to say charting?  yay!  charting!!!!!  The fertility awareness method (FAM)... the. best. thing. i ever discovered, as far as my reproduction. i could not believe i didn't know about it sooner. and the plus (well, there are so so many) but the main one.. is that when you do start to TTC, you will have all of this incredibly valuable insight into your fertility and you will be able to reverse-use it to get pregnant.  i've been charting for four years. I used it successfully to avoid pregnancy for 2 years and then to get pregnant in '09.  I can not recommend it more highly.  The very best resource out there is a thick book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility."  It's not as daunting as it looks, because half of it is devoted to avoiding pregnancy and half is devoted to TTC.  do not be intimidate by this method. you will love it.


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#6 of 37 Old 01-05-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarletjane View Post

really? i get to be the first one to say charting?  yay!  charting!!!!!  The fertility awareness method (FAM)... the. best. thing. i ever discovered, as far as my reproduction. i could not believe i didn't know about it sooner. and the plus (well, there are so so many) but the main one.. is that when you do start to TTC, you will have all of this incredibly valuable insight into your fertility and you will be able to reverse-use it to get pregnant.  i've been charting for four years. I used it successfully to avoid pregnancy for 2 years and then to get pregnant in '09.  I can not recommend it more highly.  The very best resource out there is a thick book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility."  It's not as daunting as it looks, because half of it is devoted to avoiding pregnancy and half is devoted to TTC.  do not be intimidate by this method. you will love it.



Ditto this!! Chartiing is most natural and very effective providing you do your research.


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#7 of 37 Old 01-05-2011, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bleh I hate condoms. :-P

 

I like the idea of a diaphragm, but my husband is convinced that he'll be able to feel it. Any experience with that?

 

I also like the idea of charting, but it does seem daunting. Could someone give me a brief overview? I'm going to check out that book from the library too and check it out. Hopefully I can get through enough of it before Wednesday when I have my appointment to take my IUD out. Do I need to use a different barrier method while figuring out my cycles? Do you just not have sex during the 5-ish days when you're fertile? Are cycles always the exact same? How easy is it to foul up?

 


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#8 of 37 Old 01-05-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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I thought diaphragms were not recommended for women who have had children (less elasticity to hold it in place correctly and therefore making way less effective?)


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#9 of 37 Old 01-09-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Throwing in my vote for the Fertility Awareness Method!  I wish I could take back the 10 years I was on the pill in my younger days.  FAM is just as reliable as other methods, probably more so if you abstain during potentially fertile times instead of using a barrier method.  It may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is just automatic.  I'm new at using FAM for TTA, but I love being so in tune with my body.  And having the unprotected love making during the confirmed safe times is soooooo delicious!  Taking Charge of Your Fertility and The Garden of Fertility are my favorite references.

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#10 of 37 Old 01-10-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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Another vote for FAM. 

We've used it since we got married 7 years ago, and I've only gotten pregnant when we decide to. Taking Charge of your Fertility is probably one of the most "Aha!" books I've ever read. Your body makes so much sense if you know how to pay attention to what it's telling you.

Since I've been doing it so long, I don't even chart any more. I'm comfortable doing it based on cervical indicators alone. During the fertile times, we will use a diaphragm. And we did use the diaphragm in the first year or so after my babies were born, until my cycles returned.

Diaphragms are ok, FAM is better. 


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#11 of 37 Old 01-10-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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Spermicide! I like VCF, it's a little film you insert, it takes 15 minutes to dissolve. There's also foam, cream, gel, other kinds of goo. I like it because- you can get it at a grocery store or target (no doctor visits), you only use when needed (unlike the iud or birth control pills that are used every day), it is not permanent at all, and it can be used with other methods like FAM or condoms. 

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#12 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lactatinggirl View Post

Bleh I hate condoms. :-P

 

I like the idea of a diaphragm, but my husband is convinced that he'll be able to feel it. Any experience with that?

 

I also like the idea of charting, but it does seem daunting. Could someone give me a brief overview? I'm going to check out that book from the library too and check it out. Hopefully I can get through enough of it before Wednesday when I have my appointment to take my IUD out. Do I need to use a different barrier method while figuring out my cycles? Do you just not have sex during the 5-ish days when you're fertile? Are cycles always the exact same? How easy is it to foul up?

 



My partner can't feel my diaphragm. I'm pretty sure as long it's place probably it won't be felt, but I only have my own experience to go off of. 



Quote:
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I thought diaphragms were not recommended for women who have had children (less elasticity to hold it in place correctly and therefore making way less effective?)



That's what I was told by my OB when I asked. I have since found out that is false. However, if you had a diaphragm before giving birth you would have to get refitted to see if you need a bigger size. 



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Another vote for FAM. 

We've used it since we got married 7 years ago, and I've only gotten pregnant when we decide to. Taking Charge of your Fertility is probably one of the most "Aha!" books I've ever read. Your body makes so much sense if you know how to pay attention to what it's telling you.

Since I've been doing it so long, I don't even chart any more. I'm comfortable doing it based on cervical indicators alone. During the fertile times, we will use a diaphragm. And we did use the diaphragm in the first year or so after my babies were born, until my cycles returned.

Diaphragms are ok, FAM is better. 


I love the idea of FAM, but I still haven't had a cycle since giving birth, so I haven't been able to start charting. But even when I'm able to, I'm not going to do it without a back up since I'm not married. So for now I love my diaphragm, but I'd love to be able to rely solely on FAM someday. 


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#13 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I think I'm going to do FAM with a diaphragm during fertile times. I've started reading TCOYF and I'm loving it. I started taking temps, but literally the day that I did I started coming down with the flu, so I decided to wait until I'm done with being sick until I start charting again. I have been paying attention to my CM though and I'm amazed at how much I can tell already! Thanks again for all of the suggestions! 


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#14 of 37 Old 01-11-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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I just started using FAM for TTA as opposed to TTC, so I will plan on using a back-up method (pull and pray!) for awhile the entire cycle.  This is the first cycle postpartum I have been charting and it looks annovulatory, so according to TCOYF I have to treat myself as potentially fertile.  When in doubt consider yourself fertile, don't take the chance!

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#15 of 37 Old 01-14-2011, 02:00 PM
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You'll want to know that the synthetic hormones in your system from the minera may linger in your system for a while, not exactly sure how long.  They may mess with the mucus observations for a time, so if you don't have textbook cycles for a bit, that's likely why.  It might be a good idea to wait to TTC until they've evened out a bit.

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#16 of 37 Old 01-14-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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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! :)

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#17 of 37 Old 01-14-2011, 02:28 PM
 
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I was feeling really good about using FAM for the time between going off the pill and TTC. Then it took FOREVER for my cycles to do anything at all predictable and chartable after having dd, and I wasn't at all confident about FAM, so I got a copper IUD. I'm quite happy with it. It took a couple months for my body to get used to it (but it may have also been the newness of my temporarily wonky cycles), but I love it now. I would have gone back to FAM sooner if I could, but it just wasn't going to happen. And now I have this IUD, so maybe I'll try FAM again someday when it's time to take it out.

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#18 of 37 Old 01-15-2011, 02:45 PM
 
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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..


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#19 of 37 Old 01-16-2011, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You'll want to know that the synthetic hormones in your system from the minera may linger in your system for a while, not exactly sure how long.  They may mess with the mucus observations for a time, so if you don't have textbook cycles for a bit, that's likely why.  It might be a good idea to wait to TTC until they've evened out a bit.


That's a big part of the reason why I got my IUD out now. I want to give my body a lot of time to get back to normal before TTC. I'm just planning on using FAM as a BC until we decide to do that. 

 

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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..


Copper coil is a type of IUD. It's called a Paragard. If I decide to get another IUD, it'll be that one because it's non-hormonal. The downside I've heard with it is that it can make your periods really heavy. 


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#20 of 37 Old 01-16-2011, 01:36 PM
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Sounds like a good plan.  Just saying that if it's confusing at first, don't give up!  It'll likely get easier.

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#21 of 37 Old 01-17-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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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! :)
 

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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..



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#22 of 37 Old 01-17-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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Am I the only one that had total success using the Pull Out Method?


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#23 of 37 Old 01-17-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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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.
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#24 of 37 Old 01-18-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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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.

 


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#25 of 37 Old 01-19-2011, 08:39 AM
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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.

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#26 of 37 Old 01-20-2011, 03:24 AM
 
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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.
 

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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.



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#27 of 37 Old 01-29-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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FWIW...my husband could feel my diaphram and he hated it.


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#28 of 37 Old 01-30-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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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!


Stay-at-home mama married to my best friend of 10+ years. lovestory.gif  Aspiring midwife loving parenting our beautiful babyf.gif Julian, born 5/24/09. Expecting a second bean in late July 2012!joy.gif
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#29 of 37 Old 01-30-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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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. 

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#30 of 37 Old 01-30-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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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? 


Single Mama to Vincent 3/30/09
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