How to Choose Contraception

Natural Family Planning (NFP)

March 13, 2018

Natural family planning (NFP) is a natural method which you may utilize to help you decide when to have sex, either to prevent becoming pregnant or to raise your chances of becoming pregnant (additional natural methods include abstinence, withdrawal, outercourse, and continuous breastfeeding/LAM). In a nutshell, NFP is essentially fertility awareness. It consists of different methods that enable you to acquire awareness about your fertility and also teaches you how to browse the organic signs your body gives to help you figure out which times of the month you’re most likely to not get (or to get) pregnant.

Natural family planning involves birth control methods that don’t require medication, physical devices, or operation to keep you from getting pregnant.

How Does NFP Work?

Natural family planning relies on your fertility awareness. Throughout your monthly cycle, several changes occur in a woman’s body. For NFP to work, you need to become conscious of your body’s natural functioning, so you can figure out when you are ovulating and are fertile (likely to become pregnant).

By keeping an eye on the changes which happen within your body, you can plan when you need to and should not have sex (depending upon your NFP target ). Every one of the family planning methods operate a little bit different.

What Are the Various Natural Family Planning Approaches?

The following are some of the NFP choices:

  • Standard Days Method (Calendar Strategy ): This method has you track the duration of your cycle (generally with CycleBeads) and suggests that you not have sex during your fertile times of the month.
  • Basal Body Temperature Method: With this method, you use a special thermometer each morning once you first wake to ascertain your baseline fever. After doing this, and logging your readings, for a couple of months, your fertility routine needs to be more clear. This might help you determine if you need to have or not have intercourse.
  • Billings Method: This method teaches you to inspect and track changes in your cervical mucus. This can be helpful because your cervical mucus changes in reliable ways during your menstrual cycle.
  • Symptothermal Method: Under this method, you join another NFP procedures. Thus, you check your cervical mucus, take your basal body temperature, and track your cycle length.

How Effective is Natural Family Planning?

The following is your average effectiveness rate of All of the NFP approaches:

  • Typical usage: 77 percent to 88 percent effective (more accurately reflects how the average woman uses her NFP method: not properly or consistently each and every time)
  • Perfect use: 95 percent to 99.6 percent successful (when you consistently use your NFP method correctly and consistently)

This means that of every 100 women who use among the NFP procedures, 12 to 23 will become pregnant over the first year (with typical usage ) and five or fewer will become pregnant with perfect use.

In order for obviously family planning to be most effective, you (and your spouse ) should fully understand your chosen NFP method. You both need to encourage each other, be committed to naturally family planning, and sexually abstain (or use contraception) during your most productive times.

You also need to be ready to monitor and chart your fertility signs.

Should I Use NFP, What Changes Do I Need to Look For?

Natural family planning methods require that you monitor and track specific changes which exist inside your body. This procedure can help you predict when you are fertile (and probably to conceive). 

  • Cervical Mucus: The presence, color, and thickness of your cervical mucus may tell you exactly what changes are occurring in your body. After your period ends, you ought to have”dry times” (with no cervical mucus). You are unlikely to become pregnant during this period. More mucus is created (and can be cloudy or whitish in color and tacky ) since you’re getting near the time you may ovulate. You ought to be abstinent at this time or use backup contraception in case you don’t want to become pregnant. Right before you ovulate, you need to see the most mucus. It it usually clear, slick, and readily spreads apart in your palms. This is when you are most fertile. In case you have sex at this time, you might choose to use a condom, sponge, or female condom to avoid getting pregnant.
  • Basal Body Temperature: Before you ovulate, your basal body temperature is generally between 96 and 98 levels. It will rise a little bit (generally less than 1 degree) when you ovulate. Since the temperatures changes are so small, you want to use a particular basal body thermometer (which is designed to measure more specific temperatures). Should you capture your basal temperature every day, after a couple of months, you will get a better idea of when you will be fertile. In general, you are likely to become pregnant two to three times before your temperature increases and one day then. Once your temperature has been high for three or more days, your odds of getting pregnant are much lower.

Why Do People Choose Natural Family Planning?

Some couples choose NFP for religious reasons or just as a personal taste. You can select NFP since you feel more comfortable using a natural birth control method without any side effects. Other folks may turn to normal family planning because they’re allergic to materials used in devices such as IUDs, implants, diaphragms, or condoms (though there are latex-free condoms, as well as polyurethane ones).  Some girls may pick on natural family planning because they cannot use hormonal birth control.

Is Natural Family Planning Not Advised for Many Individuals?

Even though there are a great deal of benefits of using NFP, it may not be the best birth control option for many women. There are two or three reasons for this.

  • In the beginning, natural family planning requires a whole lot of time and effort daily. You need to remember to monitor the times of your menstrual cycle, also chart temperature and/or cervical mucus.
  • Many women don’t have fully regular menstrual cycles/periods. This can make it difficult to correctly pinpoint the definite time that you’re fertile every month. 
  • Your menstrual cycle can be impacted by many things. Stress, being tired, or ill can cause shifts in your cycle.
  • Infections or colds which cause low-grade fevers may have an affect in your own body temperature, which means that your temperatures which month may not reflect your general fertility pattern.
  • Even though natural family planning is effective, this method might not be the ideal alternative if preventing pregnancy is a high priority (either due to health reasons that being pregnant can cause or because you’re not ready to have a baby).

Things to Think about if You’re Going to Use NFP

Fertility awareness or natural family planning methods need instruction, dedication, discipline, and determination so as to be most effective. You and your partner have to be able to communicate, trust, and cooperate with one another. Since NFP does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases, you should also maintain a stable, monogamous relationship.

Though obviously family planning approaches are generally inexpensive and don’t ask that you visit with your doctor, to be most effective, you need to do your research and also potentially receive specialized training. You will find certified/qualified professionals that can completely instruct you that the NFP method of your choice. They can help you in your observation to make sure that you are doing this the right way, and that you’re correctly interpreting your own body’s signals and fertility pattern.

A Word From Verywell:

NFP is a great and empowering natural birth control method that may be utilised to help you determine when having sex may or may not lead to pregnancy. Bear in mind that sperm can live in the human body for up to a week. If you have sex without any birth control up to seven days before and a day or two after you ovulate, you have a higher prospect of getting pregnant.

Know that your very first job with natural family planning would be to become familiar with your menstrual cycle and then start charting your fertility patterns. Be patient because this observation can last for several weeks (and also have a backup contraception plan during this period ). Additionally, keep in mind that in the event that you do not completely or reliably follow the instructions of your preferred NFP method, it may be much less effective.

The reality is, in training, NFP might not be as reliable as other forms of birth control. That having been said, if you are committed to tracking and recording your fertility information, you may enjoy much higher success rates. You may locate mobile apps dedicated to helping you chart your fertility useful.