Contraceptive methods are commonly used to avoid pregnancy or to space birth. However, the methods are also frequently used by couples when they don’t want any more children.
Natural birth control is a method of contraception to prevent pregnancy or to space birth without any use of physical devices or medications. It is usually based on awareness and observations about your body and menstrual cycle. These methods are safe, low cost and effective when used in the right and proper way.
Examples of natural contraception include the rhythm method, the standard-days method, the cervical mucus method, the basal body temperature method, the coitus interruptus method and breastfeeding. Get to know about each one.
This method is mainly based on the identification of the fertile period of a menstrual cycle and abstaining from sexual intercourse during that period.
Before you start, you need a record of the previous 12 menstrual cycles to determine the approximate time of ovulation and fertile period. Subtract 20 days from the length of the shortest cycle to get the first unsafe day and 10 days from the longest cycle to get the last unsafe day.
The methods to identify the approximate time of fertile period includes- recording previous menstrual cycles, checking the basal body temperature and checking excessive cervical mucus discharge.
Standard days method
This method is like the rhythm method but easy to use by everyone. It sets the days (8 to 19) as the fertile period for all women in which days 11-16 are most fertile and the remaining are less or semi fertile days.
There are many apps available to track the fertile period and this method is best suitable for women who have the longest cycle of 28 days.
Cervical mucus method
During the ovulation period, the cervical mucus discharge is more as compared to other times. Cervical mucus looks clear and slippery and you can see the patterns in your cervical mucus from one cycle to another to abstain from sexual intercourse on all days of noticeable mucus and for 3 days thereafter.
Basal body temperature method
This is another way by which you can prevent pregnancy by skipping sexual contact with your partner. To know the time of ovulation, you need to check your temperature by thermometer at the same time every day.
During ovulation, your temperature may rise about 1 degree Fahrenheit along with some other symptoms like backache, sore breast and lower abdominal pain. Sometimes, it becomes harder to use this method because illness may too cause a rise in temperature.
Coitus interruptus (withdrawal method)
It is one of the oldest and most widely accepted contraceptive methods used by couples. It includes the withdrawal of the penis from the vagina shortly before ejaculation. This method requires sufficient self-control by the man so that withdrawal of the penis occurs before ejaculation.
If there is weak self-control by the man then there is a 22% chance of getting pregnant.
Exclusive breastfeeding offers natural protection of pregnancy up to 6 months until the period starts.
There are about 1 to 10% chances of failure because a woman can get pregnant even before her first period starts after delivery. It is necessary to use additional contraceptives during breastfeeding to provide complete contraception.
In the above post, we discussed different natural contraceptive methods to avoid pregnancy.