Natural Birth Control? Yes, mama! The wonderful part about Natural Family Planning, or NFP for short, is that it has no side effects and doesn’t require a prescription.
Natural Family Planning is the process of monitoring signs of ovulation to prevent or achieve pregnancy. Every month your body undergoes hormonal changes Ovulation, or when your ovary releases an egg, is a critical part of the female menstrual cycle. Once released, this egg has the potential to be fertilized by sperm. Ovulation varies from woman to woman, but is usually 12-16 days before the next menstrual period. The egg is available for fertilization for 12-24 hours before it becomes a part of the lining of the uterus which will be shed at the onset of the menstrual period. Of course if the egg is fertilized, it will become an embryo which will implant itself into the uterine lining and grow into a human! Ovulation can also change due to diet, stress, or illness.
The key to Natural Family Planning is pinpointing when ovulation occurs in your cycle so that it can be avoided, and thus, avoiding pregnancy! Since sperm can live for up to 5 days, it is important to avoid sex or employ a natural contraceptive 5 days before ovulation and 2-3 days after the proposed ovulation date. This will ensure that there are no slip-ups! There are several different ways to determine when you ovulate:
How to Track Fertility & Ovulation
1. Ovulation Kit – This is a rather expensive option, as these kits can run upward $40 for 20 sticks.
You will need to take multiple tests to zero in on ovulation. These tests determine the level of luteinizing hormone, which is the hormone that rises as the egg is preparing to be released from the ovary.
2. Basal Body Temperature – or BBT the process of charting your temperatures each cycle. This is your basal, or resting, temperature. While this method requires the highest amount of dedication, I have found it to be the most effective.
A great book to learn about this method and NFP is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH. This method is only effective after 3 or more hours of sleep and if you take your temperature before rising from the bed. Ovulation is indicated by a slight decrease, and then increase in temperature. The ovulation tracker apps listed below offer a digital chart to document your temps, although some women prefer a paper chart.
3. Cervical Mucus – The texture and consistency of your lady fluids determine your fertility as well. When the fluids from the vagina are dry or sticky, it is likely that she is not fertile at the moment. When your fluids are like egg-whites, this indicates high fertility as this type of fluid is made to carry the sperm to the egg. This method is best used with another method.
4. Herbal Pregnancy Prevention
– Queen Anne’s Lace (Wild Carrot Seed) – while Queen Anne’s Lace is a flower, it’s seeds have been used for contraceptive for centuries. Seeds were normally chewed by women during ovulation, because it is known to prohibit the embryo from implanting into the uterus. I sell a tincture version of this in my store here.
– Neem – The leaf of the Neem tree has been used for many things including leprosy and skin disorders. Another cool thing that Neem does is prevent pregnancy! Neem is the natural birth control option for men. It is said to lower sperm count and motility. Neem oil can be used vaginally as spermicide as well. Note: Neem takes 6 weeks to become effective.
5. Condoms during fertile period – Last but not least, the tried and true condom. During the 9 day window that you are fertile, condoms are a great option to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Vegan condoms are a great option and do not contain harmful chemicals. Are you ready to try Natural Family Planning? Sign up for a course in your area and/or download an app such as Glow or Kindara which are free of charge and give insights into what your body is doing every month!
Editor’s Note: This article was shared with us by a wonderful mama and entrepreneur. While we don’t endorse any specific birth control method (and remind you not to take any advice we provide as medical advice), we do want to arm you with as much information and perspective as possible, because information is power! Find out more about Laje below and at her website here!
My name is Laje Reine, also known affectionately as Alika, and I am a spiritual healer, lactation counselor, and student midwife. I own ChosenWomb which is a women’s health apothecary. Currently, I reside in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and have the pleasure of mothering 2 children.