My husband and I just took a NFP class today. I have read tons of good info on it and havnet found anyone that has anything bad to say about it. Anyone here have any experience with it? Good or bad? Thanks!
Hopefully I will be able to use it in the future (i'm having period problems right now). I've done all the research, and the few months I'm off the pill I always chart. I have a lot of faith in its effectiveness. My mom and all her sisters have used it successfully. Have you read Taking Charge of Your Fertility? I've come to love a particular charting program. I'd tell you the name but I think that violates the rules here. But with my program I can upload my chart to my support group. It really helps to have a bunch of other ladies eyes double checking you.
I used natural birth control for about 19 years with complete success. Now I have had my tubes tied. I have 4 children, but they were all planned. I can't remember the name of the book that I read before we got married, but it was from a Christian book store, however, I imagine the method was more or less the same. The book mentioned that you could check your cervix to see when you were fertile, and although at first I did the temparature checks, etc, along with checking my cervix, after a while I became experienced with checking my cervix, and I used that alone for many years. I would check it when I took a shower. I guess I'll give a description here of what to do in case it isn't in the books any more. I would just put one foot up on the side of the bathtub and insert my first two fingers into the vagina and putting one on each side of the cervix I would give a squeeze as I drew my hand out, then by moving my first two finger out to a V I could see what type of mucous I had. If the mucous was clear and stretchy instead of clumpy, I would know that I was entering into my fertile period. You should use both methods together until you are sure you recognize the changes in the mucous and then it is much easier and less bother to use the cervix check. Oh, another thing is that the cervix felt softer during the fertile period.
it's what i've used successfully for almost a year.
it's free (you can make up your own charts, you don't have to order a full package from someone or somewhere) and totally effective if you follow it
basically you don't have sex during the days following your period when you are about to ovulate and are ovulating.
you can't just count and hope you get the right days, but your body gives three tell-tale signs that you are about to ovulate and are/have ovulated.
it takes about a month (the first month that you try it) to understand it, but when the second month comes and you can compair the signs to the first month, and then you understand it. i have been able to help two of my married friends switch off birth control pills and to the natural family planning method.
After your feritle days you have about two weeks to two and a half weeks (depending on your cycle) when you can have sex with out a condom or any other form of birthcontrol (this, of course, excludes saftey for STDS) and you WILL NOT get pregnant, because you've ovulated and there is nothing to fertalize. You can also have sex during the first three days of your period, if you're comfortable with that. I wasn't at first but after a few months when i knew the fertile period was coming (usually about a week for me) we decided we better get in all that we can
It will take you a couple days to a week (depending on how well you absorb the info) to learn the method and the first month you will probably ALWAYS second guess yourself, but try it for at least two months in a row and if by then you're still not comfortable or sure that you're doing it right, talk to someone (you should be talking to someone through it anyway) and consider different methods.
If you want any help or have more questions PLEASE ask. I really feel this is the best thing to do and am more than happy to help you learn and understand it.
CarribeanGirl, you definitely can't depend on ovulation pains. Most women are fertile for 5 days or so before ovulation. Before ovulation the most critical fertility sign is cervical fluid. Then ovulation gets confirmed with a rise in temperature. Taking Charge of Your Fertility is an amazing book. You should be able to find it at any bookstore or library. Charting takes 2 minutes a day and it will teach you so much about your cycles, you'll be able to predict your periods, and you'll spot any health problems really early.
It looks like, once again, everyone has positive things to say about NFP. I read today that while the rest of the US has a divorce rate of about 50% couples using NFP have a divorce rate of about 4%! Thats amazing! Well, Im done with my NuvaRung and have been taking my temp (still trying to figure out cervix observations!) We are so excited about this!
I don't know if I'll find Taking charge of your Fertility here. I'm looking for alternative methods for birth control. It has become such a hassle and I'd like to change methods. I can't have a IUD because I haven't had children yet so it's not an option for me.
I've always had regular periods and they are even more so with the OC I'm taking. I assume it won't be as difficult for me to predict my ovulation.
Please remember that this method - just like all other methods of birth control DOES have room for error. You are still better off using an alternative method of birth control in conjunction with this one. Also, you do not state if you are married- but I would like to mention that this will not protect you from a sexually transmitted disease.
I do know that all birth control methods have a margin of error and the risk of catching STD's. However, I'd prefer using a "non-chemical" and natural method. I am engaged and planning to get married in a few months.
If you can't find TCOYF I've heard The Art of Natural Family Planning is also very good (and even more thorough), just a little less easy to read. Or if you can find a doctor or class that would be a great way to learn as well!
We used Natural Family Planning (the book). It's really thorough and explains everything about three times. The chapters/sections are pretty short so it's easy to read in a few days.
Signs may be difficult to interpret for a while, like the first month when you've never seen it before so you're not sure if it's any different than it was the day before (things change a little more slowly than we'd like to expect so it's easy to feel like we're not understanding it right). but once you get into the second cycle it's easier to interpret because you've had a full cycle to see all the changes, not just a couple days. All of my married friends that I've encouraged to switch off BCP and try NFP were really anxious in the first month but I told them to at least try it for two months and if they hadn't gotten it by then, consider other options.
There are three signs that always accompany and follow ovulation: temperature change, cervix change, and cervical fluid/mucus change. Some methods only suggest observing one or two. The book "The Art of NFP" says to observe all three because certain stressors or changes, sickness (cold/flu) can throw some out of wack. If you observe all three you have two cross checks for each one and it is easy to interpret where you are at in your cycle.
Now is the perfect time (before you are married) to start this, and encourage your fiance to read whatever material you find to help him understand what is going on. The reason why 4% (or less) of couples using Natural Family Planning get divorced is because communication is absolutely necessary between both the husband and the wife. Without it the wife feels like she is the only one who cares and the man is only in it for the sex and the man may feel like his wife is being closed off (she probably is).
My husband was really hesitant when we started Natural Family Planning (we used BCP for the first 9 months of our marriage) because everything he'd ever heard was that it doesn't work, all of our friends of friends of friends (etc.) who "tried" it have 18 children, etc. (Let me tell you, those people didn't "try" NFP, they just let it go and did whatever and called it NFP).
I had a bit of a hard time trying to get him to go along with me on it--he refused to go to classes (embarrassed) so I prodded for him to read a chapter of the book with me each night before we went to bed (I had already read the book at that point and was able to answer any questions he had that came up). After we read through it he was suprised it was so easy and really relieved that we were doing that and switching off BCP (besides, it's free!)
Plus, starting to understand your cycle before you get married helps you interpret your observations after you start having sex (if you aren't sexually active right now).
If you have any questions about the specifics of observation/what to expect/how to do it, just ask.
One of the most liberating things is understanding your cycle and how it works. It's amazing to me that this hormone does this and then changes into this which does this...all at the right time...It's so empowering to know YOUR body and understand it, instead of just popping a pill every day and hoping it works (all the while in the back of your mind wondering what long-term negative effects it might have)...
By the way, my husband and I have awesome communication and I think NFP was part of the process that established that in our relationship (we've been married a little over a year).
Any questions, just ask
Last edited by Modinatrix21; 10-19-2004 at 02:36 PM.
Reason: Please note edit to post,poster dont need help on searchs.
Thanks for the reply. It will be helpful, I'll be looking up these books !
I like the fact that NFP makes both partners active in the process. My fiance is not "birth control" savvy at all I can say , and when I try to explain to him, he just doesn't get it.