I was just wondering what forms of birth control people are using who have stopped using the pill? does anyone have any suggestions of some effective natural family planning methods that actually work .. also, has anyone tried the mini pill? and what are the side effects?
My husband thinks I have lost my mind. My friends think I have lost my mind. Fortunately my husband is willing to humor me, and frankly I think it is great to give my friends such good humor on my behalf.
I have been married just short of 2 years. After getting married, I started reading a lot, and decided to drastically change a lot of aspects about my health. I eat virtually no processed foods, i drink basically only water, and when it is not water it is something naturally produced like juice (no soda, no alcohol), I have increased my exercise, etc. But everynight like clockwork, I pop a birth control pill in my mouth. A few months ago, I told my husband that I dont like doing things that are unnatural, and I wanted to go off BCP. But our alternatives did not seem good. I have no experience with condoms, but he does, and he told me that option was out, and then looking at my other options, I decided that sticking anything up inside me just did not seem to fit the moment at all, so those were out. And doing research on natural family planning that consists of daily checking your cervical mucus and basal temp seemed like a definate no, as I have no intentions of checking cervical mucus every day. Hopeless????
The other day I was not busy at work and surfing around, and somehow I came accross a product called Lady-Comp or the more advanced product called Baby-Comp. As my friends want to tell me, this is just a very over priced, overglorified thermometer, but I see it as more. It utilizes the philosophy of natural family planning or natural contraceptive (depending on your needs) and it is really a mini computer with fine tuned software to give you an easy to understand system of lights to let you know if when you are fertile and when you are infertile. Supposedly if you are using the Baby-Comp it will also tell you when to engage in sexual intercourse if you are wanting a boy or a girl, but that might be a bit of a stretch. It all sounds good to me, so I ordered myself one. I have not received it yet, but I am so excited about using it and being able to get off of BCP. I decided to finish my last cycle of BCP, as my ObGyn warned me to not stop mid cycle, so this coming Sunday will officially be my first day off of them.
I cannot testify for how well it works just yet, but search for the product online and you can read all the testimonials. Many of them are very promising, if that is a route you are trying to go.
Price is an issue though. I paid over $600 for mine. I could have gotten one $200 cheaper, but it would have been refurbished, and I could not decide how I felt about that, so i went new. The only way I could convince my husband was to show him that our insurance will not pay for the only brand of bcp's that don't make me sick, so I have to pay $55.99 every month on pills, and so in about a year, the device will pay for itself, as far as birth control is concerned.
The big drawback, however, is that it takes a 2-3 months for the machine to really get to know your cycle, so certain activities have to be carefully monitored during those times, but after that, it has a Pearl factor of 99.3 (The pill has a Pearl factor of 99.7), so I feel pretty confident about its validity.
I have a tendency to be way to long on my replies, so hope it has helped some.
I used FAM initially going off the pill, but like the PP said, it takes some discipline. However, if you are detail-oriented like I am, I actually found it quite fascinating. Plus, the way my body works, it didn't seem to have much effect on my temperature if I had occasional night waking or temped at slightly different times. My temperatures were almost exactly the same whether I temped at 3 AM or 6 AM so long as I had 3 hours of sleep beforehand (but even occasionally having 2 hours of sleep didn't really affect my temp.). Some women will get large fluctuations between these, so I guess I was lucky in that regard. Even getting up to use the bathroom in the night didn't affect my temp. so long as I went back to sleep right afterwards. And checking cervical mucus is not so bad for me. Even with the Lady Comp, I'd pay attention to my cervical mucus and not have unprotected sex on a green day if I had fertile mucus (eggwhite or watery). During my fertile days, I used a barrier method (condoms).
I did all my FAM by hand though there are sites online where you can chart your basal body temps. on a graph for free (mostly they are geared for trying to conceive, but the visual aid was nice).
If you're considering either Lady Comp or FAM, I highly suggest you read a book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility". In fact, this book is an excellent reference and I suggest buying it (though you could just check out a copy at the library to see). I bought a used copy off the internet, and I refer to mine all the time. I've seen copies at Barnes & Noble too.
Do realize too, with the Lady Comp. that your first few cycles off the pill may be a bit wacky and that doesn't mean every cycle will be that way.
I'm still charting, but now we're trying to conceive, which is nice since FAM already tells you how to identify your fertile days.
By the way, I have heard only good things about Lady Comp from women who've used it. The only women who had trouble were those who had difficulty get a full 3 hours of sleep. Supposedly, this device has an alarm that will wake you up so you can temp. at the same time each morning.