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Old 12-08-2000, 11:09 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: West Texas
Posts: 109
TrickyDick HB User
Re: Natural family planning

I doubt you will find many women here that practice "natural family planning"
Here is some info on it.

Ways to Chart Your Fertility Pattern
From Planned Parenthood Federation of America
revised July 1996

Using All These Methods Together
Using all three methods: temperature, cervical mucus, and calendar, is called the symptothermal method. The symptothermal method allows a woman to be more accurate in predicting her safe days than if she uses any one of the methods alone. When using these methods together, the signs of one can serve to confirm those of the other. For example, a record of the mucus pattern can be useful because temperature rises resulting from illness or emotional stress may be confusing. Combining methods also permits sexual relations during the early dry days, and shortens the period of abstinence necessary for complete protection when using the temperature method alone.
In the post-ovulation method, couples abstain from vaginal intercourse or use withdrawal or a barrier method from the beginning of the womanís period until the morning of the fourth day after her predicted ovulation. A woman is much less likely to be fertile after ovulation has occurred (post-ovulation). However, couples who practice the post-ovulation method must ABSTAIN from vaginal intercourse or use withdrawal or a barrier method for more than half of the womanís menstrual cycle.

How Well These Methods Work
Of 100 couples who use any of these methods for one year, 28 women will become pregnant with typical use. The failure rate is higher for single women. Combining the various methods with careful and consistent use and having no unprotected vaginal intercourse during the fertile phase can give better results.

Of 100 couples who use the temperature method for one year with perfect use, ten women will become pregnant.

Of 100 couples who use the cervical mucus method for one year with perfect use, eight women will become pregnant.

Of 100 couples who use the calendar method for one year with perfect use, fifteen women will become pregnant.

Few couples, however, are able to use these methods perfectly. These methods require keeping consistent and accurate records. Some skill is required in figuring, and the margin for error depends on how accurately signs and records are interpreted and followed. It is most important that original explanations, early coaching, and frequent follow-up be done by a professional instructor or successful users. These methods work better for women whose cycles are always the same length.

Some couples chart the womanís fertility pattern to prevent pregnancy because it is economical, safe, and can be discontinued easily when pregnancy is desired. Little equipment is needed, and calendars, thermometers, and charts are widely available. No medication is involved, which is especially appealing to women who have physical or health conditions that might make other forms of birth control less desirable or unsuitable. Medical checkups are not required, although professional instruction is important. Periodic abstinence is acceptable to most religious groups. However, if a couple decides to have vaginal intercourse during the fertile period, pregnancy is likely to occur unless they use barrier methods such as a combination of condom and foam.

Charting fertility patterns requires dedication, education, and practice. It is most effective when both partners are mature, responsible, and committed to making them work. Thatís why it is very important for both partners to learn the fundamentals and support each other in observing the abstinence or contraceptive use that is required.

Women who are breastfeeding or approaching menopause may find it more difficult to chart their fertility. Their fertile signs may vary in unpredictable ways due to irregular hormonal fluctuations. Likewise, multiorgasmic women are also likely to ovulate unpredictably.

If you are taking the Pill or any other hormonal method, you'll have to stop taking it and use another method of contraception that has no hormones, such as a barrier method (condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap), while learning fertility awareness methods. Hormones in the Pill alter the natural menstruation and fertility cycle.

Do not depend on charting your fertility pattern if:

you have irregular periods
your partner is unwilling to observe periods of abstinence from vaginal intercourse, practice withdrawal, or use barrier methods at unsafe times
you have a sexually transmitted infection or frequent abnormal discharges
you cannot keep careful records