Natural birth control methods teach women how to identify the fertile phase (essentially a period of 7 to 10 days) of their menstrual cycle in order to use birth control methods properly.
There are many variants of natural birth control methods. The most effective birth control methods teach women to record fertility signs that fluctuate over the natural hormonal changes of each menstrual cycle.
There are two main approaches:
1) Symptothermal approach where waking temperature and mucus observations are recorded, and 2) the approach to the observation of the mucus, which changes the cervical mucus are only recorded.
It is useful for women and their partners to know the two most common birth control methods:
1) The birth control method for determining the fertile period (DPF) refers to natural contraception method taught and practiced outside of a religious framework that supports the use of barrier methods (condom, diaphragm and spermicide) , emergency contraception and abortion. Canadian Justisse is a modification of the method of DPF which teaches both the Symptothermal approaches and observation mucus only.
2) Natural Family Planning (NFP) refers primarily to natural birth control method which is taught and practiced within a religious framework, mostly by Catholic organizations. It does not support the use of barrier methods, emergency contraception or abortion. The Billings Ovulation Method teaches to observe the mucus only. Serena and Couple to Couple methods League are variants of Symptothermal NFP. The Creighton Model teaches both Symptothermal approaches and observation of mucus only.
Operation of natural birth control methods
Symptothermal method of the DPF and the NFP is explained below. It is considered the most effective of all natural methods of contraception.
The method teaches women Symptothermal observation, recording and interpretation of their waking temperature (basal body temperature) and observation of cervical mucus to determine the days of fertility and infertility. They can then see when they can get pregnant or not after sex.
A woman who has a regular menstrual cycle usually experience the following sequence of events:
- Menstruation for three to seven days;
- Lack of sensation or appearance of the mucus in the vagina or vulva for several days;
- wet or slippery sensation of mucus in the vagina or vulva for several days, which becomes progressively more slippery, elastic and clear the approach of ovulation;
- After ovulation, waking temperature rises, mucus disappears from the vulva and vagina and vulva appear drier.
Fertility days begin with the first sensation of mucus at the vulva and continues until the dry mucus and waking temperature is high for three days. Once the high fertility and low fertility days determined, a woman can plan the sex to avoid or result in pregnancy.
If the cycle of a woman does not follow a typical pattern, use a natural birth control methods will be more difficult. However, it can always use a natural contraception method, but it is recommended that she consult someone trained in teaching methods and DPF NFP to use the method in the most efficient manner.
In general, these birth control methods are not recommended for women experiencing the following difficulties: irregular cycles, failure to correct interpretation of the signs of fertility or persistent infections that affect fertility signs.
Cervical changes are a third fertility sign that a woman may find useful in determining fertility. It satisfies the variations in the position of the consistency and of the opening of the collar associated with fertility and infertility days.
In order to effectively use the methods of NFP and DPF, a woman must accept the responsibility to record and interpret her fertility on a daily basis. The possibility of an unplanned pregnancy should not represent a devastating occurrence in the context of this method of family planning. As with other forms of contraception, motivation, will and cooperation between the partners are the key to an effective and successful use.
The successful use of the birth control methods of DPF and NFP depends on the accuracy of the method with respect to the identification of current fertility window of a woman, the ability of a woman / a torque correctly identify the period of fertility and the ability of the couple to follow the instructions of the method they use. The effectiveness of the birth control methods of DPF and NFP (Strauss and Barbieri, 2004, Hatcher, 2004) will vary depending on the method:
- Effectiveness of the order of 95-98% in the case of perfect use (the user follows the instructions to the letter to avoid pregnancy)
- Efficiency of the order of 75 to 88% for typical use (the user may not always follow the directions)
Advantages methods DPF and PFN
- effective contraceptive methods
- No negative adverse health effect
- Workaround for women who can not or do not want to use hormonal methods
- Font promoting a positive body awareness
- Respect many religious beliefs and lifestyles
- Met women aware of concerns about reproduction and fertility
- Encourage communication between partners
- Encourage partners to practice a variety of sexual and romantic activities as alternatives to vaginal intercourse during the fertile periods
- Encourage the participation of man
Disadvantages methods DPF and PFN
- Do not provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections
- It is often difficult to find instructors DPF / qualified NFP
- Require a learning period (usually three to six cycles)
- Requires discipline and commitment to record fertility signs and follow directions to avoid pregnancy
- The periods of abstinence can be difficult for some couple.