No, this isn’t an announcement. But it is a shameless plug for natural family planning, otherwise known as NFP. I’ve heard so many people jokingly call it natural family pregnancy and I’ll admit when I first had a friend tell me about it I thought it sounded pretty hippie. However, after using it as our main source of birth control for six months, I am sold. I’d been on birth control pills for years and had yet to find one I really liked. In October we decided to give NFP a try.
NFP removes external substances from the birth control process. It relies on clues from your body to determine your peak fertile periods and avoid pregnancy. There are numerous books and articles you can read, but in general, there are two main things you want to track: your basal body temperature (BBT) and cervical fluid. I track both of these things in an app called Kindara.
Basal body temperature is the lowest body temperature attained during rest. If you are using NFP, you will want to take your body temperature as soon as you wake up in the morning. (Now stop rolling your eyes, it’s no harder than taking a pill every day.) The day after you ovulate you will see a spike in your temperature. This will tell you that ovulation has occurred.
Now if you are trying to avoid pregnancy then knowing after you’ve ovulated isn’t all that helpful. Tracking your cervical fluid will help you know when you are nearing ovulation. (I’m sorry, you want me to track what?) There are four types of cervical fluid:
- Egg White
The watery and egg white cervical fluids are the most fertile and if you are trying to avoid pregnancy, you definitely want to use some form of protection during these times. I’ll admit, the while idea of cervical fluid takes some getting used to and sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between the different types. However, you will start to get used to it and tracking will become much easier. One of the articles I found most helpful when trying to learn about this was from BabyCenter.com. Warning: There are pictures of cervical fluid!
What I’ve loved about NFP is how much I’ve had to learn about my body. I had no idea my temperature would increase and that I even had different types of cervical fluid. So to all the ladies I quietly chuckled at, I am now on board.
**I am not a doctor and everything written herein is strictly my opinion. Please see your doctor or a licensed professional for a recommendation on the birth control program that is best for you.