I'm getting pretty personal today, but nonetheless it is something often dealt with in Fort Negrita (my home!) and for many of my readers, so today we are talking about the zero waste three-step method of practicing natural birth control.
I do practice natural birth control, and don't talk about it publicly; however, I met a wonderful woman this past week who mentioned losing her hair to Depo-Provera. I promised to bring her information so I'm writing this post.
I Googled the side effects of Depo-Provera, commonly known as 'the shot', and found that many women experience hair loss or even cases of alopecia (no hair growth).
Depo-Provera isn't the only side-effect hottie on the market. Every pharmaceutical form of birth control has its horror stories, which range from high risk of cervical cancer to sudden deaths caused by tumors.
My suggestion is to ditch the possibility of body glitches and practice an intimate, collaborative and natural form of birth control. As you and your love mate work together, you become more in tune with your body and your mate has a much clearer understanding as well.
Before I give you the lowdown on practicing natural birth control, I want to mention a few things.
- We are working with nature, Queen of irregularities, so take extra steps, be as accurate as possible and serious about understanding your body.
- It takes true dedication to be done right, YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW ALL THREE STEPS to keep buns out of the oven. (yes, I'm yelling at you!) This practice can be 95-98% effective if done right and 78% effective if sort of done, you take a risk with that 22% if you want.
- This blog post will not give you complete understanding of the natural method of birth control. I recommend the book I used by Margaret Nofziger and other online resources like here and here.
- It takes about six months to really get the hang of the method and knowing the repetition of your body, so don't do anything 'certain' after the first month or so. IT'S TOO SOON TO TELL!
- The 'safe' days that I refer to below are days AFTER you've ovulated. The best way to know you ovulated is when the cervical mucus isn't super slippery, your BBT begins to lower and it's a day or so after you are expecting to ovulate. (see below for details)
Things you will need: a thermometer that can show up to the tenth decimal (.0) and a dedicated calendar to record your body changes. (I keep both by my bed)
Charting your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). Your body is known to rise by .6 degrees after you ovulate because of a reproductive hormone released after ovulation. Here's an example, if Jane Doe's average BBT is 98.1 degrees, her temperature will rise to about 98.7 degrees at the end of ovulation. This could happen sharply overnight or may raise a couple of tenths over several days. Nofziger's book recommends waiting two full days after the rise to confirm ovulation has occurred. Track your body temperature every day before getting out of bed and record it on your calendar. . You can do this vaginally, orally or rectally (I do vaginally), but which ever you choose, stick with it.
NOTE: Be sure to set up your thermometer the night before by your bedside. DON'T pee, have sex or get up for any reason within a few hours of checking your temperature. This could easily throw off your reading.
Observing and charting the cervical mucus. You may notice this already but your vaginal mucus (discharge) will change every so often in a month's span. This is controlled by the reproductive hormones and on days when you are not ovulating your vagina is pretty much a war zone for sperm, between the alkaline in your mucus and phagocyte, sperm is DOOMED! However, when it's close to ovulation time your mucus gets nice and slippery. You may think your lover has you a bit more excited, but what has really happened is your womb is making it easy for those poor little soldiers to get to your egg. Get a mucus sample by sticking clean fingers into your vaginal opening. Rub your index finger and thumb together to check the consistency. Here are the four types of mucus: When you're dry with little dripping and staining you probably just finished your cycle. When you have opaque, white and sticky mucus, your body is starting to prepare for ovulation, avoid sex because the sperm could last 3-5 days in the body. When your mucus is thin and watery (milky like substance), you are fertile, use this time to try methods of love without sex. Once your mucus is similar to egg whites (clear and stretchy), you are extremely fertile. Take notes of your mucus types in your calendar.
NOTE: You will not get an accurate sample of your cervical mucus right before or after sex. This is another type of mucus, it's best not to confuse the two.
Calculating the early, pre-ovulatory infertile times with formulas from the rhythm system. This is something most women already do, with expecting cycles to begin and the length of time they last, but to truly track you must also record the days between the beginning and the end of your cycle. The day of ovulation is typically 14 days before the start of a new cycle. Depending on the average length of your cycle this may be the 14th day but it could also be the 16th day or the 11th day. Now let me give you an example, Jane Doe has a cycle that averages about 32 days. If her cycle is 32 days long, she will likely ovulate on the 17th day. Now, if Jane is ovulating on the 17th day, she must also be careful on days 12-16 as her lover's sperm can last up to 5 days. Therefore about the 11th day is the last day she can have sex without precaution. BUT! I will also note that nature can be so unsuspecting and random and totally suggest thinking of only the DAYS AFTER YOU KNOW FOR SURE YOU OVULATED as 'safe' days.
NOTE: This is the more common method, but it is also the weakest. It's only strong when combining with the two methods mentioned above. Also, you need at least six months to review your cycle before claiming which days are 'safe.'
If you have any questions, EMAIL ME! fortnegrita [at] gmail [dot] com.