Natural Family Planning- Pregnancy Natural Family Planning- Pregnancy

Natural Family Planning – For A Newly Married Couple!

Natural Family Planning is a fertility awareness method of birth control in which a woman keeps track of and records several fertility cues throughout her menstrual cycle length to determine when she is most fertile and prone to getting pregnant.

Without pills or contraceptives, this form of birth control has no adverse side effects. It is completely safe, mainly because the woman’s fertility cycle1 is tracked, and the woman knows when she can and cannot get pregnant, giving control of a woman’s body and her wishes to her own hands.

The advantage of using natural family planning(nfp) is that it is 99% effective contraceptive. It is also very economical when compared to other contraceptives available on the market today.

The disadvantages are that some women don’t want to take note of their monthly cycle; they want something more convenient. This form of birth control requires you to keep track of your fertility cycle, which some women might find difficult. The most common form of family planning is the cervical mucous method (CMM).2

1. How to Do Natural Family Planning?

You can use methods such as the cervical mucus technique or rhythm method to determine the optimal days for unprotected sex 3in case you are expecting to get pregnant or otherwise avoid it if you use it as a contraceptive.

You can use the cervical mucus method to determine when it is viable.

It is conventionally cheaper than other contraceptive options and has no drawbacks to monitoring your cervical secretions4 for either, be it fertility or contraception.

Some women practice this method for religious or personal reasons, while some for family planning. This form of natural family planning, the cervical mucus approach, can also be paired with another fertility detection technique, like monitoring basal body temperature5.

Natural Family Planning
By Pixabay, Author: Robster_91, Copyright 2022

To ascertain which days you are the most fertile, you can also try to evaluate hormone levels in your urine using an electronic fertility monitor. The sympto-thermal or the sympto-hormonal method are two names given to this set of techniques for fertility awareness.6

These natural contraceptive methods have been getting extremely popular among the community as the newer generations have started family planning before and after marriages to become more compatible, stable, and understanding of each other as partners before bringing a new life into the world.

2. How Does Natural Family Planning Work?

For family planning techniques to work and avoid conception, fertility awareness-based methods entail recognizing fertility signs during your monthly bleeding cycle.

You can track and record three key biological signs to obtain a satisfactory result from the fertility awareness methods.

Which are:

1. The Duration Of Your Menses

2. Readings Of Your Basal Body Temperature, Daily.

3. Change In Your Vaginal Secretions (Cervical Mucous)

To get a better idea of the days you’ll be most fertile, and it is viable to track all these factors together. One of the most common ways women keep track of their fertile period throughout each cycle is by using fertility charts.

The WHAT and HOW of natural family planning

This specially curated article will mainly focus on using a combination of these methods to have an overall better chance of avoiding unwanted pregnancy or unwanted effects like endometriosis.

Before we delve into a bit more detail, it is important to know how these family planning methods work. The cervical secretions are given a unique value during ovulation when they become more viscous and can be seen with the naked eye as they change from clear and thin to cloudy white or opaque brown.

Around the time of ovulation, the cervical mucus in your body is clear and rubberlike silken in consistency, and It has an uncooked egg white-like appearance and texture.

Each day you will visibly see a change in the consistency of your mucus. This is recorded in a fertility chart to determine a pregnancy’s greater or lesser viability.

3. Significance and Why Should You Use Fertility Awareness-Based Methods?

First and foremost, fertility awareness methods significantly increase your knowledge about your Biological cycle and overall reproductive health.

The first step towards learning about natural planning methods is tracking your fertility pattern. A typical menstrual cycle generally lasts for 28 to 32 days.

Other than health reasons, women from extremely religious backgrounds could also prominently use family planning.

How & Why We Do NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING to Prevent Pregnancy & Conceive

Some women can choose natural family planning procedures above other various contraceptives to avoid any side effects in the coming future. This brings us to another reason why a few people would be eager to attempt what they believe is a more natural way: they must have already encountered the side effects and issues arising from the various contraceptive techniques.

With so many positive evaluations of these methods, it garners much attention. It is correct that both fertile and infertile couples can benefit from understanding the biological cycle and how the incurring hormonal changes can affect their bodies concerning getting pregnant.

In conclusion, it can be said that a more knowledgeable person with the correct information and resources to understand their reproductive health and biological fertility can have more representation over their bodily choices than an unaware person.

The potential ability of fertility awareness techniques to be used by women with irregular menses7, who might be somewhat picky about the primary products for preventing and regulating conception, is a significant factor in some couples’ desire to employ them.

In such circumstances, merely keeping track of your ovulation can be incredibly beneficial in figuring out the optimal days to avoid pregnancy 8or utilizing a reliable method of birth control.

A lack of knowledge or inability to determine when you are fertile or infertile would be another good situation when recording the best day of the month.

The Rhythm Method/Calendar Method explained

4. Types Of Natural Family Planning Methods

4.1. Calendar Rhythm Method

The Rhythm Method: An introduction to the natural family planning method called the Rhythm method, which involves tracking menstrual cycles to determine ovulation.

Tracking Menstrual Cycles for Ovulation Prediction: Exploring how tracking previous menstrual cycles can help determine when ovulation will occur.

Average Length of Menstrual Cycles: Understanding that the average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but variations between 21 to 40 days are common.

Ovulation and the Release of Eggs: Explaining the process of ovulation, where an egg is released from the ovaries and travels down the uterine tube.

Fertility Window and the Lifespan of an Egg: Describing the fertility window, which is typically 10 to 16 days before the next menstrual cycle, and the lifespan of an egg, which is around 24 hours.

Possibility of Pregnancy Before Ovulation: Noting that pregnancy can occur if sexual intercourse happens within 7 days before ovulation, as sperm can remain viable in the uterus for up to seven days.

Natural Family Planning- Calendar method
By Pexels, Author: cottonbro, Copyright 2021

Using the Rhythm Method for Family Planning

Checking Fertility Signs and Tracking Menstrual Length: Exploring how monitoring fertility signs and tracking the length of menstrual periods can help determine ovulation.

Identifying Ovulation Symptoms: Noticing signs such as abdominal pain or tingling that may indicate ovulation.

Fertilization Process and the Importance of Timing: Understanding that fertilization can only occur if sperm and egg meet during the 24-hour window after ovulation.

Tracking Cycles for Accurate Calculations: Highlighting the importance of tracking menstrual cycles for over a year to obtain more accurate calculations.

Limitations and Effectiveness of the Rhythm Method: Acknowledging that the rhythm method is not as effective as other forms of contraception and requires meticulous note-taking and perseverance.

Combining the Rhythm Method with Other Contraceptive Methods: Suggesting the use of barrier methods or other forms of contraception during the fertile window to enhance effectiveness.

4.2. Cervical Mucus Or Ovulation Method

Exploring the Billings ovulation method, a natural family planning method that tracks changes in cervical mucus to identify fertile days.

  • Tracking Cervical Mucus for Fertility: Understanding the importance of daily monitoring of cervical secretions to determine changes in texture, color, and quantity.
  • Methods of Monitoring Cervical Mucus: Exploring different approaches to tracking cervical mucus, including manual examination, mucus monitors, fertility apps, charts, or journals.
  • Identifying Signs of Ovulation: Noting the key changes in cervical secretions, such as increased mucus production, texture changes, and color changes, that indicate ovulation.
  • Role of Cervical Fluids in Fertility: Understanding how cervical fluids facilitate sperm movement and increase the chances of fertilization during ovulation.
How To Get Pregnant  - Cervical Mucus & Predicting Ovulation - Series 1 - Episode 5

Using the Billings Ovulation Method for Conception and Contraception

  • Using the Billings Ovulation Method for Conception: Exploring how the cervical mucus method can help couples identify the most fertile days for achieving pregnancy.
  • Effectiveness and Patience Required: Highlighting the importance of patience and attention to detail for the effectiveness of the Billings ovulation method.
  • Using the Billings Ovulation Method for Contraception: Discussing how the cervical mucus method can also be used to determine which days to avoid unprotected intercourse for those wishing to prevent pregnancy.

4.3. Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Method

One of the most common approaches to natural family planning is the basal body temperature method, which is based on other forms of fertility awareness programs. The basal body temperature (BBT) method is a family planning method used to track a woman’s ovulation.

Basal Body Temperature Tracking Do's & Don'ts - What Is Basal Body Temperature?

An individual’s body temperature is at its lowest when the body is completely at rest. Any bodily function that may require energy might prove to add some increase in the body temperature. Similarly, an ovulation-related process might increase basal body temperature.

A woman’s body temperature at rest and taken immediately upon waking before any physical activity is undertaken is known as BBT. A woman’s BBT will usually rise slightly when she ovulates, so by tracking her temperature, she can better predict when she is most fertile.

The two or three-day period right before her basal body temperature increases is when she will be the most fertile.

How to chart your basal body temperature / BBT

You might be able to predict when you’ll ovulate by keeping a record of your basal body temperature every day. This could even aid you in figuring out when conception is most likely to occur.

The basal body temperature approach can be highly useful for people in helping them determine which is the most fertile period for a couple if they wish to conceive. Similarly, it may also help some other couples to decide on which days to avoid unprotected exposure or intimate time together if they do not wish to get pregnant and prevent any unwanted conception.

It’s possible that the basal body temperature approach won’t give you enough waiting period to avoid any pregnancy successfully. This technique for preventing conception is frequently used in collaboration with other reproductive awareness-based methods9.

4.4. Symptothermal Methods

The combination of several individual nfp methods, when used together to increase the accuracy of the processes, is known as the symptothermal method of family planning10.

The sympto-thermal method is a family planning technique that relies on both signs and symptoms of fertility to identify the safe days during a woman’s biological cycle.

This method is over 99% effective when used correctly. The technique gives fairly good results; however, the user prefers to use these family planning procedures.

The symptom-thermal method involves tracking several fertility indicators, including the woman’s basal body temperature, vaginal mucous, and cervical position. Using this information, a woman can identify her fertile and non-fertile days.

The BBT method and the cervical mucous approach are the two that are frequently utilized. If one decides to use an electronic hormonal fertility monitor along with the BBT and vaginal mucous method to track fertility, this approach is referred to as the Marquette approach.

Natural Family Planning Catholic - Marquette Method NFP

Marquette approach

The Marquette approach helps the couple track and confirm their fertile window by detecting urine hormones with the help of sensors in the electronic fertility monitor.

These electronic hormonal fertility monitoring machines can be bought through any drugstore or online portal. To establish the days on which the fertility is the highest or the days from which it starts to the days on which it ends, you can use additional techniques or indicators, such as the typical day’s method, which may be applied to identify and track the fertility window.

The term “symptothermal method of birth control” refers to simultaneously applying multiple fertility awareness methods(FAMs). By using FAMs, you can monitor your ovulation and avoid getting pregnant.

The three primary FAMs are:

1. By Tracking Your Body Temperature

You check your temperature right after waking up in the morning.

2. By Tracking Vaginal Fluid

You can record your vaginal discharge daily to keep a record and compare it to track your monthly biological cycle.

3. The Calendar Method

You can record your menses on a calendar every month and make a chart of dates accommodating your fertility window.

Efficient contraception with Symptothermal Method

One of the most effective techniques to use FAMs to prevent unwanted pregnancy is to combine two or three methods into the symptom thermal method and use them all integrated to get better results.

The temperature approach and the vaginal discharge method are typically used together in the sympto thermal process to increase the success rate of the natural family planning methods.

Some people add the calendar approach on top of these techniques to further verify oneself and be extremely sure of the accurate results.

This nfp method is most effective when used in conjunction with a barrier method of contraception such as a condom. When used correctly, the symptom thermal method is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

5. How Effective are These Natural Family Planning Methods?

The nfp strategy can be up to 99% effective if you follow instructions completely and practice the family planning guidelines rigorously. 1 to 9 women out of every 100 who correctly practice family planning will become pregnant.

Natural Family Planning: What is it, Why is it Good, How does it actually work?

Scientifically speaking, the natural family planning method is comparatively less effective than other birth control methods. The CDC estimates a failure rate of 24%. Still, more women will become pregnant if these family planning methods are not strictly adhered to, making the natural family planning method a better option for couples preparing for Planned Parenthood11.

Natural family planning requires much more dedication and effort to be effective than most other professions. It requires a great deal of self-control, diligence, and caution!

To succeed, you must strictly adhere to the directions.

Benefits Of Natural Family Planning Services!

  • The nfp methods are free of charge.
  • There are no side effects to these nfp methods.
  • You can discontinue using the nfp methods whenever possible without fear of harming your reproductive health.
  • Apps associated with the nfp methods can easily help you track your fertility windows. They mostly follow all the religious guidelines and benefit most religious people.
This Surgeon Explains Medical Benefits to Natural Family Planning

6. Risks Included in the So-Called Ovulation Tracking Methods!

  • Natural family planning is not effective against sexually transmitted infections.
  • Using it as a contraceptive method requires you to record your biological cycle rigorously and stick to a schedule, which might be tedious.
  • It’s not for every woman, as some might be breastfeeding mothers or others might have irregular periods.

7. Summing It All Up For You!

The basic idea behind these natural family planning methods relies on observing the signs and symptoms that indicate the fertile and infertile portions of the menstrual cycle.

A couple planning to have a family in the future or during recent times can time their intimate engagements to prevent or induce pregnancy by being aware of the fertile phase.

Thus, natural family planning offers a substitute for people who cannot or do not choose to use pharmaceutical or mechanical contraceptive technology for any reason.

With all these insights into natural family planning procedures, we would like to end the article with a side note for everyone, whatever method you choose, remember to practice or indulge in safe and consensual sexual actions!

8. FAQs

Q: Can natural family planning offer STI protection?

A: NFP does not offer STI protection. It serves only as a means of family planning and offers no STI protection. In addition to NFP, barrier techniques like condoms are advised if STI prevention is needed.

Q: Is Natural Family Planning an effective method of birth control?

A: Since NFP entails purposefully forgoing sexual activity during the fertile window in order to prevent conception, it is accepted as a form of contraception. NFP is distinct from hormonal or barrier methods of contraception, it is crucial to remember this.

Q: Can women who have irregular menstrual periods use NFP?
A few NFP techniques, like the Symptothermal Method, can be modified for use by females with erratic menstrual cycles. In these circumstances, it could be more difficult to correctly track fertility indications and pinpoint the fertile window. Advice on practicing NFP with irregular cycles can be obtained by speaking with a healthcare provider or fertility educator.

Unveiling the Latest Family Planning Statistics Key Insights and Trends
Icy Health
  1. Dunson, David B., Bernardo Colombo, and Donna D. Baird. “Changes with age in the level and duration of fertility in the menstrual cycle.” Human reproduction 17.5 (2002): 1399-1403. ↩︎
  2. Evans-Hoeker, Emily, et al. “Cervical mucus monitoring prevalence and associated fecundability in women trying to conceive.” Fertility and sterility 100.4 (2013): 1033-1038. ↩︎
  3. Crossley, Michele L. “Making sense of ‘barebacking’: Gay men’s narratives, unsafe sex and the ‘resistance habitus’.” British Journal of Social Psychology 43.2 (2004): 225-244. ↩︎
  4. Dunson, David B., Irit Sinai, and Bernardo Colombo. “The relationship between cervical secretions and the daily probabilities of pregnancy: effectiveness of the TwoDay Algorithm.” Human Reproduction 16.11 (2001): 2278-2282. ↩︎
  5. Blackwell, Leonard F., et al. “Monitoring of ovarian activity by measurement of urinary excretion rates using the Ovarian Monitor, Part IV: the relationship of the pregnanediol glucuronide threshold to basal body temperature and cervical mucus as markers for the beginning of the post-ovulatory infertile period.” Human Reproduction 31.2 (2016): 445-453. ↩︎
  6. Grimes, David A., et al. “Fertility awareness‐based methods for contraception.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 4 (2004). ↩︎
  7. Fredette, Meghan E. “Irregular Menses.” Endocrine Conditions in Pediatrics: A Practical Guide (2021): 95-100. ↩︎
  8. Jennings, Victoria H., et al. “Estimating six-cycle efficacy of the Dot app for pregnancy prevention.” Contraception 99.1 (2019): 52-55. ↩︎
  9. Duane, Marguerite, et al. “Fertility awareness-based methods for women’s health and family planning.” Frontiers in Medicine 9 (2022): 858977. ↩︎
  10. Kambic, Robert T., et al. “Use-effectiveness among users of the symptothermal method of family planning.” International Family Planning Perspectives (1991): 96-99. ↩︎
  11. Stevens, Lindsay M. “Planning parenthood: Health care providers’ perspectives on pregnancy intention, readiness, and family planning.” Social science & medicine 139 (2015): 44-52. ↩︎


Aditi Pandey

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