Birth control methods abound. There are pills and devices of all sorts designed to prevent conception. They are so common that you can engage in a dialog on the subject practically anywhere. Readers of my website know about my concerns, especially when it comes to the Pill – the one form of contraception that seems to be used without much concern for side effects. That’s too bad, because those pills can be responsible for some extreme effects, including infertility. Some women find that their normal periods stop. Sometimes, with proper hormone replacement, they can be started again, life continues, and successful pregnancies ensue.
Sometimes, the periods don’t start again. Using the Pill is playing with fire for women who think they may someday want to get pregnant. That option may be eliminated if the effects of the Pill permanently dominate her hormone balance.
There is more information in the package inserts for oral contraceptives – and more on our website. I encourage everyone – especially women – to read and understand the information. It is very important.
A lesser discussed problem is centered on an inability to conceive. These discussions are usually more private – contained within the closeness of the family and doctors who specialize in fertility issues. Clinical approaches to solving infertility often incorporate the use of hormones and, sadly, drugs that have hormone-like actions. There are other approaches that don’t turn to drugs. They can be time consuming, but just a little education can make the path to conception clear for the couple wanting to conceive. These approaches may even be helpful for women who have supposedly lost their cycles due to oral contraceptives.
The sympto-thermal method of natural birth control involves determining the few days out of a woman’s menstrual cycles when conception can occur, and then avoiding sexual intercourse on those days. This method involves determining this fertile time in two ways: based on a woman’s basal body temperature (it rises after ovulation) and by recording other fertility cues (such as mood and cervical secretions). The name “sympto-thermal” method, comes from body cues (i.e. symptoms) and a woman’s temperature (i.e. thermal or thermometer). Adherance to the techniques described in this method can be used to predict fertile days. To avoid pregnancy, choose to be intimate on the days when fertility chances are minimal. For assistance in conceiving, plan intimacy on days of highest fertility odds.
There are many resources for training in the sympto-thermal method. Many churches offer classes. If that doesn’t fit your personal style, you can check the internet. We’ve done that and discovered a website that offers assistance, a free program to aid in conceiving, and even an advanced program for women who want a higher level of support. While I am personally familiar with the sympto-thermal method, I am not qualified to teach or coach about it. If you are interested in the online approach, at least visit www.myfertilitycharts.com.
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