A word of precaution: If you are a guy who has stumbled upon my little blog, I would like to forewarn you that there a lot of talk about the female reproductive system. If this makes you uncomfortable, steer clear.
I apologize for my lateness in writing this, but school got crazy after I wrote my first blog post. Now it’s summer break and I’m here to tell you about an alternative to the pill!
The Fertility Awareness Based (FAB) method that I will explain to you today, as explained to me by Dr. Walt’s Blog and this super fun complex study is called the Symptothermal Method (STM). Since it is a Fertility Awareness Based method, the woman observes her cervical mucus (sympto) and her temperature (thermal) to determine whether or not she is ovulating. According to Taking Control of Your Fertility, a woman is fertile about 8-10 days out of a 27-30 day cycle. Once you know which days you are fertile, you can either practice abstinence (this is called Natural Family Planning) or use a barrier method like a condom or diaphragm. The best news comes next. According to that study I mentioned earlier, .4% of women who abstained became pregnant and .6% who used the barrier method became pregnant. In order to be considered as effective as the pill, a method must have less than a 1% pregnancy rate, and STM does.
One of the awesome things about this method is that it is not only useful for preventing pregnancy, it can be used to help achieve pregnancy too. Since you will know your fertile times, you will be able to try to become pregnant at the most opportune intervals.
You might be thinking, ‘Hey, this sounds nowhere as easy as taking a pill.’ Well, you would be right. It’s not as easy, but I believe it’s worth it. Come to think of it, don’t most of the worthwhile things in life take a little more work? By using this method, you do not risk the life of an unborn child, and I think that’s a pretty good tradeoff for a little extra thought and effort.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I could start tracking my fertility right now. There are still things that I don’t understand about the guidelines, and to be honest, I didn’t know as much as I should have about how a woman’s body works before I started on this whole birth control journey. If you decide that you want to use a Fertility Awareness Based method of birth control, it is suggested that you find a class in your area, or read a book, like one suggested to me by my cousin called Taking Charge of Your Fertility. The Taking Charge of Your Fertility website also offers online and paper charts to help you map your fertility.
Another honest moment. As I was doing research for this second post, there were times that even a .4% chance of becoming pregnant freaked me out. Thoughts like, ‘What if my husband and I can’t afford a baby? What will we do?’ rushed through my head. (Isn’t that kind of funny since I still have a ways to go till then? I’m a worry wart.) Then I remembered that children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). He has a plan, and if He blesses me with a child, He’ll provide. It’s also ironic because I want to be a full time mom some day. I should be excited at the idea of kids to love and nurture and raise in the Lord. Keep those thoughts in mind as you research birth control for yourself.