Question: I am looking into natural family planning as a form of birth control and need some good books to read up on and just some advice/been there done that sort of things.
I have been on several other forms of bc and they all end up either making me gain weight or incredibly emotional and I have just given up on them. I briefly considered IUD but with the risk of permantely making me infertile I am just too paranoid to really go that route at this time. DH and I are on the fence as to whether we are 'officially' done or not. I am scared to make a permanent change which tells me I need to leave the door open for now until we have a more official decision.
I have read up briefly a few years ago on NFP but I just have always felt it is too risky and not very accurate. Especially as a person who has NEVER had a normal cycle. So to chart or to know when I am ovulating seems foreign to me as I am not really sure what my body will be doing that month. Part of the problem is I have PCOS, so some times I can go 2 months with out AF and then some times she hits me every two weeks!
Any thoughts or advise is welcome!!
Dear Zippy Francis,
Go to www.ccli.org, for the Couple to Couple League, the nation's leading organization on Natural Family Planning. They teach the Sympto-Thermal Method, which works well with irregular cycles. Classes online, or with software, or classes held throughout the country.
I personally liked the couple to couple league people near here, but you should be aware that they are very Catholic. They are coming from the perspective of condoms are a sin, hormonal birth control is a sin, etc. So, if that philosophy is going to turn you off, you might look at other resources (e.g., there is a book called natural family planning the complete approach).
Basically, even with irregular periods you can usually make NFP work -- with the symto-thermal method taught by the couple to couple league you'll take your basal temperature every day, and learn to make observations of your cervical mucous to determine whether or not you have ovulated, then wait a bit after you've ovulated so the egg is gone, then DTD at will. Or, you can DTD early in your cycle before you ovulate (but with a greater chance of becoming pregnant). If you have a hard time with the basal temperature measures and cervical mucous observations, you can also use a method based on ovulation detection, but then you have to buy more equipment. Again, I personally really liked the couple to couple league approach, and found it easy to understand and follow.
I love NFP. It really got me in touch with the power of my cycle, the ebb and flow of my fertility. I think I would have planned to wait a lot longer to have my son had I been on hormonal birth control (not that NFP failed, but that it changed my views on having a baby).
wife to DH, mom to 7/4/2011 and 11/6/13.
This is the book that I liked the best. I call it my birth control for dummies book. I was never really good at charting and everything, and this really simplified it. At our local bookstore there were SOOOO many books. We had to sort through them, a lot of them were by CCLI and although they are nice, they spend a lot of time talking about marriage and relationships with god, and all I really wanted was a natural birth control book!
Babywearing, CoNapping, 2 Pitbulls, 1 Cat,
DS Aiden 9/2010, Stay at home wife to David.
Anka, I'm a little amused that you expressed concern about the religion in CCL and then recommended an even more conservative Catholic book: NFP The Complete Approach by John and Sheila Kippley. I do like to recommend that book because it's available by free (donation if possible) download from www.nfpandmore.org, has a lot more options for different rules to use than any of the other sympto-thermal method books, and can be learned without taking a class (though I would recommend taking a class if at all possible to increase effectiveness, and CCL does have more classes available). However, it is important for anyone considering using the Kippley's book to know that they are very conservative Catholics with very conservative views on gender roles. Take what you want. Leave what you want, but know that there is a lot of religion in that book.
Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a very simple method that is very easy to learn and quite effective. However, I feel that in some ways, it is oversimplified as far as choices for different rules goes.
Especially since you have PCOS, you might also look into the Creighton Model. It uses mucus-only (I do like taking my temperature as well to confirm ovulation), but it gives you a very clear idea of what is going on with your body based on your CM. While the sympto-thermal method relies on 3 phases (pre-ovulation infertility, fertility, post-ovulation infertility), the Creighton Model could give you a better idea about when you might be potentially fertile before ovulation, so your longer PCOS charts could more easily go back and forth between infertile and potentially fertile before ovulation. The sympto-thermal method has a way of doing this, but the Creighton model gives you a lot more information on how to do this. If you're doing to do Creighton, you absolutely have to take a class with a private instructor to get the effectiveness that they advertise, but you will come out with an immense amount of knowledge. The method is Catholic, but the teaching of the method does not involve teaching religion. Additionally, if you can find a physician who uses NaPro Technology, s/he will be able to read your charts and treat you based on the information there to give you better treatment.
JMJ, you're totally right! I'm Catholic, so I don't think I tuned into it when I was reading the book (although looking back at it it's hard to believe I forgot that part)... the CCL comment was based on personal interactions, so I probably remember it better. Sorry!
wife to DH, mom to 7/4/2011 and 11/6/13.
I have read John and Sheila Kipley's book, the new CCL book and Taking Charge of your fertility and all were really helpful in my learning. For religious content, John and Sheila Kipley's book definitely had a lot of that content but lots of good information as well. I found with the new CCL book, the amount of religious content was quite minimal by comparison and would not be that dificult to ignore if you are not Catholic. I liked Taking Charge of Your Fertility a lot as well. I read that when I was younger and again after the birth of my last son.
I really liked the CCL book the best I think as I found it the easiest to read and understand. I really like how it presented the content.
Currently I do a mix of the symptho-thermal method presented and the Marquette method which uses the clear blue fertility monitor. I have found the monitor to be right on for me every cycles. Then seeing my temperature rise a couple of days later, really helps me to feel more confident in what the monitor is telling me. My other signs generally correlate as well so it is nice to build the whole picture and enjoy it.
Mom to three great boys Michael (Sept/01), Carter (Nov/05) and Reid (March/10).
I am new here and just returned from a long time away - saw you were from TX and wondered what came of your nfpsearch // we used Kippleys' materials, too - they are the only ones who completely cover breastfeeding - we used their materials for over 20 years and we were very satisfied ( also in TX - YAY)