Don't know if that's the correct term for it anymore, but anyways, I was just wondering if it is done perfectly (i.e. buy a book, taking temps, noting EWCM, etc) how effective is it on average? I really would like to come off the pill now that I'm married and pregnancy wouldn't be the end of the world (not that it is literally when you're unmarried, I'm just saying for me, it would have sucked with my family!) I'd really like to try NFP, but I would like to feel like I do have some control over when I get pregnant. So, how effective is it when done perfectly? Thank you!
I know a lot of people using it, and I've only seen an "oops" happen when the couple takes a very knowing risk. So you do have to have some will power if its important to you not to get pregnant. Also the 3 months practice rule (especially when coming off hormones) is absolutely vital before you start to rely on it. I've always had perfectly normal cm and temps when coming off the pill, but the majority of women I know have very weird cycles at first. So that can take some patience.
Taking Charge of Your Fertility (easy read) and The Art of Natural Family Planning (religious perspective, stricter rules) are the two best resources. You just wipe before you use the bathroom every day, which becomes second nature, and take your temperature every morning around the same time after 3 hours of consecutive sleep. The way it works is sperm can't survive more than a few hours if there is no cervical fluid. Cervical fluid is also your indication that your body is preparing for ovulation. So thats how you identify the beginning of your fertile window. After ovulation your temperature will rise. After it has stayed up 4 days (along with a drying up of your cervical fluid), you can be assured the egg is dead and gone and you are infertile for the rest of your cycle. Thats just the general idea of it... the books have all the rules and specifics. I used it the only time I had sex Definitely plan on using it whenever I start up again ;-) I chart now just for gyn health awareness and to predict my period.
They teach you how to distinguish between normal vaginal moisture, which will evaporate quickly, and cervical fluid. Some women do have some cervical fluid in the luteal phase, which is where having an nfp teacher or doctor might be necessary to help you identify your infertile period. Having a temp rise will also be an essential cross-check for those women. But most women will be dry during their LP.