Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Taking charge of your fertility, part 2

So why bother with natural fertility methods? You might be concerned with putting hormones into your system. You might not want to go through surgery to tie your tubes as an alternative to the pill. If you’ve rejected both those things, and you don’t want any more pregnancies, you might not want to use condoms or a diaphragm for the rest of your life.

Whatever your reasoning, you might just be a big geek like me and think it’s cool to see how your body naturally regulates itself. I love the big surge of energy I get when I ovulate, when I feel like a sexy creative goddess. It’s a pretty cool feeling, one that I never had when using chemical methods of contraception.

So here is a bit of info, but it is by no means the full picture for you to know how to prevent pregnancy with this method. Don’t come to me in 9 months and blame me if you get pregnant and you haven’t educated yourself, okay?

The biggest downside to using fertility awareness is that you must be patient, and take the time to get to know your body. That in itself can be an incredible experience. Some people are squirmy about their bodies and this method isn’t for them. If you are on the pill you need to stop taking it and use barrier methods or abstain to prevent pregnancy until your body sets its own cycle and you are in tune with it. If you are breastfeeding this method won’t work for you as your hormones will be influenced by the nursing and it will be difficult to pinpoint when you ovulate. While opinions vary, I personally would plan on at least 6 months of charting your cycles to let your body get back to normal. You will be using several “markers” to know when you are ovulating, including basal body temperature (you take your temp first thing every morning before you get out of bed), the consistency of your vaginal discharge, and other physical symptoms.

Once you determine when you ovulate each month, most people who use this method to avoid pregnancy add days on either side of the big “O” day as their “be careful” days, when they either need to abstain from having sex or use barrier methods to prevent getting pregnant.

Another great thing about this method is that women can use it to help achieve pregnancy, by knowing when they are most fertile.

Something to think about and educate yourself about. Your fertility is a precious gift, and one you can understand and use to your advantage.

In sisterhood,