What birth control method is working for you? Please share your experiences! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 02-04-2013, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, 

 

I'm trying to pull together a helpful article for our readers on the best birth control methods for mamas (including Natural Family Planning). I would LOVE to hear about what you're using and why you love it or hate it.

 

I won't quote anyone directly or include member names in the article (for privacy reasons), but I really want to be able to pull together a list of methods that have worked for REAL moms--not just a general rundown of options. Please share your experiences. 

 

Thanks!

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#2 of 32 Old 02-04-2013, 09:19 PM
 
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Used condoms for years (yucko), kind of loved my diaphragm + NFP for years before deciding to have a kiddo, but after kiddo, ovulated 6 weeks postpartum while exclusively breastfeeding, and got freaked out. Not ready for 2 kids in one year. Paragard for me after that, and while I'd rather not have to use anything in my body, it was my absolute favorite form ever. still got to track my cycles, never had to plan ahead for sex, and never had pain or problems with it. I'll do it again after this pregnancy, I'm sure. I just couldn't trust my cloudy new mommy brain to track it right for NFP for a while.
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#3 of 32 Old 02-05-2013, 05:49 AM
 
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Right now I do a combination of sex abstinence during my fertile period which I track by charting my cervical mucus and other symptoms (mood and ovulation pain usually tell me where I am in my cycle) and condoms at all other times. Luckily I have an extremely regular and predictable cycle. Plus the added bonus of no hormones. And DH says he likes condoms because it makes him less sensitive.

 

Prior to charting and condoms I was on Implanon (a progestin only subdermal contraceptive implant). It was very reassuring to be on it because it has a 99%+ effectiveness rate but was causing a few irritating problems like simple cysts, prolonged period, unusual cycle and more acne. I'm glad I'm off it because I didn't even know the acne would reduce and its reassuring to know I have a regular, healthy reproductive system/menstrual cycle as confirmed by ultrasound and charting.

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#4 of 32 Old 02-05-2013, 10:31 AM
 
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I charted cervical mucus at the opening only, so whAt I saw on the tp. The method is called the creighton model. It must not work for me because I've gotten pregnant twice using it and the latest pregnancy was totally unexplained

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#5 of 32 Old 02-05-2013, 01:30 PM
 
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My husband and I have been using condoms for the past like 8 years. Working really really well for us. Our two babies are from times we didn't use them... :) I learned how to do Natural Family Planning and body temperature charting as a teenager and I have always had a good grasp of my fertility day-to-day. But you can't get a good and accurate basal body temperature reading if you haven't had like around 4 straight hours of sleep.... which doesn't happen most of the time with two babies under the age of 3. So! Condoms!
We also found that if your man has any discomfort from wearing a condom, (like a lot of circumcised men can on their scrotal webbing area) get Trojan brand magnum condoms. Seriously. :) They're not any actually bigger than other condoms, they're just super stretchy and (evidently) a lot more comfortable. I like them much better because he does.
But condoms are so reliable for us that I'm even comfortable using them and having sex on fertile days. :)
 

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#6 of 32 Old 02-05-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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I don't tolerate any sort of hormonal methods. We used NFP with condoms during fertile times for years. My husband felt that Natural Lamb Condoms were pretty close to without feeling wise. Not a vegan friendly option and they don't protect against STD's either. But for sensation and pregnancy control they work for us.

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#7 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 12:09 PM
 
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I use ladycomp to track my cycles and condoms on the fertile days.

Proud mama of 2 beautiful boys!! One born 2/2009 and the other 5/2011
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#8 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 12:18 PM
 
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We used NFP+ condoms for years--I had tried hormonal birth control in the past with mixed results and didn't want to use it any long. Condoms and NFP worked fine for us. Recently, however, I started having very severe peri-menopausal symptoms that were affecting my quality of life. I decided to try a low dose birth control pill, and it has really been effective at alleviating my symptoms. I'm planning to take it until I hit true menopause, partly because if you take it for five years, there's a reduction in the risk for ovarian cancer. So now we've been able to give up the condoms as a side benefit of my treatment for peri-menopause. 


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#9 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 12:22 PM
 
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I used ParaGard for 10 years. Then I decided to have my children. Breastfeeding and co-sleeping were the perfect cocktail for me. I didn't have a period for 3 years then got pregnant after the first cycle and didn't have another period for another 3 years. After my cycles resumed, hubby didn't want any more children so he got a vasectomy. The nice thing about ParaGard, well there were several, but it is 99.9% effective for up to 10 years and you can have it removed at any time. It doesn't effect fertility and sex can be spontaneous. It's also nice to have something this reliable that doesn't contain hormones. I admire those of you who can use NFP. I'm just way too ADHD to pay that close of attention to my cycles.

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#10 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 12:32 PM
 
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We use condoms, too! Cheap, non-hormonal and effective. They require no planning (no charting, no taking a pill, no inserting something an hour before, etc.) and you can get pretty thin non-latex smelling ones these days.
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#11 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 12:35 PM
 
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I used NFP as per the TCOY rules (abstinence when fertile) on and off for 6 years with success... Relatively speaking. I was "off" when not in a committed relationship. At those times abstinence and condoms did the job 100%.

When I was on top of it, I had no issues, but while using NFP I've gotten pregnant twice due to "user error" mostly due to missing a few days of temp and taking a chance due to high libido.

Your ability to keep to a method and your control over your libido should be taken into consideration when choosing a method.

After our LO is born, when will continue with NFP though. Hormones make me feel sexless and out of touch with my body, and I cannot stand the idea of having a perpetually irritated uterus with an IUD.

I know NFP works when we work it, so really, maturity and self control is our real BC method. 90% of the time, it's 100% effective wink1.gif

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#12 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 12:50 PM
 
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We used condoms, and then the withdrawal method successfully for a year before TTC. After a few months of TTC I got pregnant, and my daughter is 2 years old now, and I haven't had a full period as I'm still nursing. We are still using the withdrawal method. We know that it may not be the most effective birth control method, however my husband is very consistent with it and prefers it to condoms so it's working well for us.
 

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#13 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 01:03 PM
 
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We use LAM and withdrawal. My DD is 12 mos and I still haven't gotten my cycle back.

DD Seraphina born at home on 2/21/2012! 

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#14 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 01:04 PM
 
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HI! I had a Paraguard installed 4 months after having my daughter (2years old now)! I am still breastfeeding her to this day and intend on letting her wean herself when she is ready. I didn't want another baby close to her and so the paraguard made sense as it is safe to breastfeed and I don't have to worry about another pregnancy! Oh, and my period came back when she was 15montths old. I do feel that my periods are a little heavier than they used to be but not more painful or uncomfortable. I love being able to be spontaneous when it comes to my sex life as I feel like planning it was always a bit of a downer for both myself and my husband ... we already have to kinda plan it around our daughter (naps and bedtimes!) :)

I never feel it and neither does he. I still write my periods down in my calendar but that is mostly because I like to know so that if i feel moody or a little more emotional I can rationalize and explain it with my hormones! hahaha

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#15 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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NFP, loosely.  Condoms combined with withdrawal method when I am fertile.  When not fertile, we always use withdrawal, too.

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#16 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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i've been using the pill since i have been 19, not continuously but whenever i've needed some form of birth control. (i'm 42 now) for me it works, i have 3 children and they have all been planned. we also use abstinance when necessary. we don't plan on having any more children so my husband will be getting a vasectomy.

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#17 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 04:11 PM
 
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Withdrawal :)  I know it sounds insane, but it has worked for us for 5 years.  We aren't opposed to having another if an "accident" occurs.  


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#18 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 07:14 PM
 
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My husband and I are enthusiastic students of The Creighton Method of fertility care - I highly recommend it for both achieving and avoiding pregnancy, and even more especially as a means of attaining and seeking fertility answers and health. The Method is disease-based, so if a woman (or man, for that matter), is looking for answers to a problematic situation (endometriosis, luteal phase defect, PCOS, etc.), instead of just slapping hormonal birth control or IVF on the situation, the physicians/instructors root out the underlying cause and work from there. So, not only were we able to achieve pregnancy, but I am much healthier in ways that IVF never could have helped me.

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#19 of 32 Old 02-06-2013, 08:42 PM
 
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Extended breastfeeding has really helped for us. I was trained with NFP and tried to use it, but I've never had a "regular" cycle, so my chart was all over the place. It also doesn't work (as mentioned above) on little to no sleep or irregular sleep, so we kind of just gave up. My fertility is touchy enough that while breastfeeding it just doesn't exist. Pretty lucky for us!

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#20 of 32 Old 02-07-2013, 08:08 AM
 
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Breastfeeding twins, they are almost 16 months old, co-sleeping too, so my cycles returned back after 22 months since conception! hurry! love the long break :) Now we follow the NFP method mostly, before pregnancy we  used condoms. Happy that my body is free of pills and crazy hormone imbalances. Have never taken a pill !

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#21 of 32 Old 02-07-2013, 12:04 PM
 
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I use Ortho Trycyclin Lo.  Every other hormonal birth control has given me horrible side effects.  I'm allergic to glycerin, so I need to use natural oil based lube (not compatible with condoms or anything latex based. )  I got the copper T IUD and had horrible (i.e. pre-labor intense) cramps.  I know too many people who got pregnant using NFP, and my youngest was a product of the pull-out method.  I want to use something highly effective, because I could not handle another child at this point.  (I have 2 teenage stepkids who just moved in with us after the death of their mother, a very active preschooler, a developmentally delayed toddler, and a homestead.  I have my hands full as it is.)  Round the clock breastfeeding never stopped my ovulation- 3 months postpartum I got my periods back like clockwork.  The low dose of hormones seems to be highly effective for me without the side effects, but if they ever make better non-permanent solution, I would try that in a heartbeat.  I'm not sure if I'm done yet, otherwise I would get sterilized.

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#22 of 32 Old 02-07-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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Fertility Awareness (Natural Family Planning) for 12 years!
 

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#23 of 32 Old 02-07-2013, 02:26 PM
 
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Condoms. Only. I don't like the idea of a contraceptive messing around with the natural flow of my menstrual cycle, or putting fake hormones in my body. There are negative side effects to the spermicide used in internal products, etc etc... So condoms, only. We use a website's off brand of Crown, and they're the best we've ever tried, ever. Trojan was TERRIBLE(no offense to the likers of it, obviously, but it caused me pain and he couldn't feel a damn thing). But I've recently been charting my ovulation to be extra safe, and we abstain from sex during those times.

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#24 of 32 Old 02-07-2013, 08:57 PM
 
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I use the FemCap with ContraGel and absolutely love it!  I've always been pretty comfortable with my insides and have no trouble finding my own cervix.  It sits in the same place as the diva cup I use, and is pretty easy to get in and out (after the first two or three uses).  I ordered it from Canada.  Contragel is a green spermicide, and it definitely works!  In the past we've used sponges, which are super expensive, and various forms of hormonal birth control which always affected my milk/moods/sex drive and I didn't like them. 

 

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#25 of 32 Old 02-09-2013, 02:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsarina View Post

I use the FemCap with ContraGel and absolutely love it!  I've always been pretty comfortable with my insides and have no trouble finding my own cervix.  It sits in the same place as the diva cup I use, and is pretty easy to get in and out (after the first two or three uses).  I ordered it from Canada.  Contragel is a green spermicide, and it definitely works!  In the past we've used sponges, which are super expensive, and various forms of hormonal birth control which always affected my milk/moods/sex drive and I didn't like them. 

Cara

 


Have you used the diaphragm? I'm wondering how the Femcap compares to the diaphragm.

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#26 of 32 Old 02-10-2013, 10:58 AM
 
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I haven't - I attempted to between our second and third child, but whoever makes them didn't make the larger size diaphragms anymore so I couldn't get one.  I'm not sure if they're making them now, or not.  I like the femcap because it doesn't need to be sized - it is based on your reproductive history, so you can order one without an exam.
 

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#27 of 32 Old 02-10-2013, 07:31 PM
 
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I was on the pill before my 1st but hated it because of the hormonal side effects. After that I got a Paragard but got pregnant after 3 years with it still in place (still have a hard time believing the 99%+ effective rate). Now I'm two weeks PP but probably will go with a combination of the Mirena, condoms and/or abstinence while ovulating. 


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#28 of 32 Old 02-11-2013, 05:09 AM
 
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I am so happy to be reading all these posts about NFP!  I only know of 2 other couples personally who use this method, besides my husband and myself.  We have been married 19 years and have used NFP for the last 16 years.  We couldn't be happier with it.  Don't let our family size make you think NFP doesn't work...we planned for all these beautiful children :)  Exclusive breastfeeding and co-sleeping for each baby usually keeps my cycle from returning for at least a year between pregnancies.  I love the naturalness of this method, and being really in tune with my cycle.  For us, there is also a religious component in not wanting to interfere with God's plan for our family.

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#29 of 32 Old 02-12-2013, 08:32 PM
 
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FAM + Diaphragm with Contragel when fertile. I've been using this since 7 weeks postpartum (18 months ago) as that's when my periods started again and I've had no problems with it! and absolutely love it! :)


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#30 of 32 Old 02-16-2013, 10:33 AM
 
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I have Mirena after years of using the pill.  The pill was effective for me, but I wasn't crazy about the hormonal effects.  With Mirena, I love not having to worry about actively preventing pregnancy, have not experienced any negative side effects in the four years I've had it in, and my husband has never felt the strings.

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