18

votes

Any advice on non-hormone based birth-control??

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 02, 2010 at 7:48 PM

My husband and I live a pretty strict Paleo lifestyle and bit by bit I'm trying to incorporate it into every last element of my life. Right now I'm stuck on birth control. I've been on birth control pills for over a decade and I'm pretty convinced that it's wreaking havoc with my body. Does anyone have any advice on non hormone based birth control methods (other than condoms)? How are other women dealing with this?

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Good point! There are *many* ways to have fun that effectively reduce the chance of pregnancy.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 02, 2013
at 04:25 PM

I got pregnant on Paraguard. Just sayin. If you do get pregnant it can be a nightmare because the IUD can cause issues.

6c08e876b450e9b28964b9ec262ac1de

(75)

on August 14, 2012
at 01:15 PM

I got Paraguard at age 31, no children. Heavy cramps, periods for first three cycles, then it evened out and I loved it. Removed it at age 36 and my cycles went from regular 28 day cycles to 22-24 days with VERY light bleeding. Since we're trying to get pregnant, I'm not happy: My luteal phase is good at 14 days, but my follicular phase is running 8-10 days (it had been 14 days on Paraguard.) Apparently most women have full fertility return immediately upon removal, but not all. I would still recommend Paraguard if you don't want to use FAM, but remove it well before conception efforts.

Dbd1e8fad5d4b47409d84bd6610020d5

(368)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:48 AM

Matthew, many people are alive today thanks to failing condoms. No method is 100% effective. Withdrawal, when used correctly (which is rare), is just slightly less effective than condoms. People also get pregnant on the pill.

Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on May 07, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I went off the Pill and we were pregnant within two weeks. Didn't even have a month to "track" anything! :-)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 06, 2012
at 02:01 AM

This is almost permanent- however, it was the month after my dad got snipped that we found out we were going to have a baby brother!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 06, 2011
at 01:33 AM

Did they really stop making the Prentif cap? I loved that puppy, but haven't replaced it for years since I'm breeding these days. My favorite thing was that you could use homemade spermicide in it as the chemical stuff gave me UTIs.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on July 06, 2011
at 01:11 AM

I ended up with jaundice/the beginnings of liver failure the last time I attempted to use the Pill so now it's strictly non-hormone birth control for me. I am not at all happy with the copper IUD but was hoping that cervical caps would be the next best choice? Do you mind expanding on why they aren't the same as they were/why you're not a fan any longer? Thanks!

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on July 06, 2011
at 01:06 AM

My experience with Paragard is very similar to kat's. I had it inserted 8 months ago and am still having insanely horrible heavy periods and terrible cramps and PMS. I didn't even think having periods this heavy was humanly possible. They are brutal and last for 8 days. I'm seriously considering having the IUD taken out but the last resort is a diaphragm or cervical cap and I haven't got much info on either of those as a worthwhile alternative.

A846ed028a91515ea814dd0c713718f4

(363)

on June 30, 2011
at 11:45 AM

I totally agree, and I would like to emphasize that FAM is NOT the same thing as the rhythm method, which we all know doesn't work very well. The rhythm method assumes every woman has a 28 day cycle, which is not always true. FAM charts basal body temperature and cervical fluid to tell you when your body's fertile, which is amazing and makes so much sense. If used correctly (100% adherence) it's as effective as condoms (~96%) or better. There's medical literature to back these statements up, if you want to check. Then just use condoms when you're fertile or need to protect against STDs.

A846ed028a91515ea814dd0c713718f4

(363)

on June 30, 2011
at 11:44 AM

I totally agree, and I would like to emphasize that FAM is NOT the same thing as the rhythm method, which we all know doesn't work very well. The rhythm method assumes every woman has a 28 day cycle, which is not always true. FAM charts basal body temperature and cervical fluid to tell you when you're body's fertile, which is amazing and makes so much sense. If used correctly (100% adherence) it's as effective as condoms (~96%) or better. There's medical literature to back these statements up, if you want to check. Then just use condoms when you're fertile or need to protect against STDs.

A846ed028a91515ea814dd0c713718f4

(363)

on June 30, 2011
at 11:37 AM

Calling FAM "the rhythm method" is a total misnomer, and discredits the method. The rhythm method assumes every woman has a 28 day cycle, which is absolutely not true. FAM incorporates basal body temperature and cervical fluid to tell you when you're body's fertile as you go, which is amazing, and makes so much sense. If used correctly (100% adherence) it's as effective as condoms (~96%) or better. There is medical literature to back my statements up, if you want to check.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 24, 2011
at 03:03 AM

I've used LadyComp (same company, same general design) and am a very satisfied customer (see my answer for details).

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 21, 2011
at 06:19 AM

Well anecdotes don't negate that study. I know people who used condoms who got pregnant and people who used withdrawl who didn't.

1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8

(1600)

on January 20, 2011
at 03:43 PM

Withdrawal is not the same as condoms.Only took me 4 months to get pregnant using that(as opposed to none in 12 years using condoms) and we were diligent about pulling out.

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on January 05, 2011
at 07:10 PM

I've also found that the "Period Tracker" app for iPhones has been super helpful. It lets me track my periods/ moods/ symptoms/ weight/ temp and then also has a chart feature that lets me see the trends. Right now I'm just trying to stick with it. My period has only been coming once ever 50 or so days... and I'd feel better if it was every 30- but I'm noticing that the trend is that it's going down slowly (first it was 56 days between my first 2 periods off the pill, 50 between the second and third).

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on January 05, 2011
at 07:06 PM

Also- silly as this sounds- I do find that the "period tracker" app for the iPhone helps mucho. It's been letting my track my periods-moods-weight-temp and then even has a charts feature so I can see whats been going on/ what trends are there.

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on January 05, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Oh- and interesting development- whenever we use condoms that have some kind of spermicide or lubricant- I end up super sore/ irritated.

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on January 05, 2011
at 07:02 PM

I took myself off the pill- and while I *feel* better now my period is more irregular than ever- I imagine my body just needs to take time to right itself. I was on the pill for a seriously long time after all (I've been off since Mid August 2010). On the birth control front- I've been trying to track my fertility (which has been difficulty since my body is all crazy)- using condoms when we think I am fertile- and otherwise we've been using the withdraw method. So far it's working.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on January 03, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Hey Naphtali, any update on what happened with this? I came to the same conclusion as you this weekend (same situation as you too) and am trying to decide what to do...

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on September 27, 2010
at 05:04 PM

Melissa- yes and sometime over the next 2-3 years.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 25, 2010
at 12:55 AM

are you planning on ever having children? when?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on September 24, 2010
at 09:03 PM

Many people are alive today thanks to the withdrawal method :)

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on August 05, 2010
at 01:19 PM

They have the disadvantage that if you do have a problem, you're screwed because you can't go off them as desired.

25819079a9264c10bcba7cd592e16216

(446)

on August 05, 2010
at 01:40 AM

I am 24, never had kids, have the Paragard and love it! I have had basically the same experience as kat - initially, the cramps are terrible but it does get better! now, one year later, there are some months with bad cramping and others without. *Marisa - specifically ask your doctor for it... s/he should do it.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 04, 2010
at 09:35 PM

Interesting, thanks for the link. I've been on the pill for the past 7 years, and when I was last off it, my cycles varied anywhere from 6 weeks to 3-4 months, so I have no idea if something like this could work. Curious to see what my cycles are like off the pill though...

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 04, 2010
at 07:38 PM

Haha well it's just another option.

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on August 04, 2010
at 06:31 PM

I have a feeling that my husband might get a bit tired of that if it's all we do! ha ha ha!!

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on August 04, 2010
at 06:31 PM

Yeah- but we do eventually want kids!

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on August 04, 2010
at 06:27 PM

I'm definitely going to ask my Dr. about this- but given that I don't have kids I know there is a hesitation. The risk being that if it becomes infected for any reason there is a chance it will leave you sterile.

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on August 04, 2010
at 06:24 PM

Eva- I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking about it! Matthew- Loestrin 24Fe

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 04, 2010
at 04:54 AM

That's really interesting. I've never heard of devices like that. I'm definitely going to look into that, though it seems a bit too good to be true right now.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:05 PM

Oh okay I get you. I never thought of that before, but that's a good point.

5c0c2b66536c5977c1826d2e1df2095f

(0)

on August 03, 2010
at 01:35 PM

I don't have any kids and got the paraguard about a year ago. Never had a problem with cramping before insertion, which was painful but tolerable, but holy crap did I ever have cramps after insertion! Bleeding definitely heavy and periods that used to last 4-5 days lasted a full week (11 days the first time). Good news: cramps eventually subsided, and now a full year later I'm back to normal. Bleeding is still heavier but only for a day or two, but periods still lasting 6-7 days. BUT, I'm happy to be off of pills (took them for 14 years). Seriously, those things were making me crazy.

35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

(295)

on August 03, 2010
at 01:28 PM

That's interesting - I've lost 35 lbs since the being of this year on low carb/lacto paleo and noticed pre-menstrual cycle nausea now (happened last Saturday). I would assume would have more of an effect now since they're less of me now? What other side effects from the pill did you have? Unfortunately, I don't think I'm eligible for a Paraguard since I'm early 20s, never been pregnant (don't really ever plan to be though). Thanks for the info!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 03, 2010
at 12:47 PM

Can I ask what type of birth control pills you have been taking?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 03, 2010
at 11:00 AM

What type of birth control pills have you been using?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 03, 2010
at 10:11 AM

In our society most women have to wait until they are over 30 to have children because of financial and social circumstances.

Ebabb65abc8da1267d0204b9b8d0dbf2

(0)

on August 03, 2010
at 07:11 AM

I have 2 kids and used the pill for years. After going paleo and losing 50lbs I started noticing the side effects of the pill. After talking with my DR. and my sister who has had a paraguard for 4 years I decided to try it. I was skeptical but I have had it in for 3 months and am HAPPY. After insertion, I had very little pain and NO bleeding. My first cycle was heavier and 2 days longer. My second cycle started 25 days later and was a bit heavy and 2 days longer. The only negative for me is I feel a bit of nausea prior to my cylce starting. Three months into it and I am happy with my decision.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 07:02 AM

Eva's right - not many get a head start but it only takes 1!

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 07:00 AM

Re: condom effectiveness in the comments above - I disagree. The numbers are much better than that and that includes ruptured condoms.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:38 AM

Be careful of the percentages on claims by the manufacturer.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:37 AM

But you can buy them pretty much anywhere.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:35 AM

That is absolutely true, Eva. It is a permanent solution (mostly), though.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:10 AM

I have had two kids and plan on getting one once my menstrual cycle starts again (it's been 4 years!!!). I do have a friend, also with two kids, who had hers dislodge, and she was very lucky to have it removed without scar tissue or surgery. So...that scares me a little...

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:09 AM

My experience with "fertility awareness" (aka the rhythm method) is that it is only as effective as your willpower. My hubby and I knew it was risky, but were drunk (and I was ovulating, which peaks desire!), and thus our firstborn was. For the second, it was intentional, but worked really, really well.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 05:46 AM

Eva's right. I'd wonder what "almost" means.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:49 AM

I've heard that some of the little swimmers can get out long before the main flood, so withdrawal is not 100 percent safe.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:27 AM

What do you mean about women having to wait so long?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 03, 2010
at 04:00 AM

Depends on how much you don't want a baby. It's too bad women have to wait so long, but I'm one of them waiting, so I can't really offer a solution.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:33 AM

I wouldn't want to take the risk with withdrawal. Too many things can go wrong. Maybe I'm just paranoid....

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:19 AM

That's probably the best option, but only if you are monogamous and don't want children later.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:18 AM

Maybe, but condoms have a typical success rate of 85%, which isn't that great either.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:06 AM

This is a very good question. I've been thinking a lot about that myself lately.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 03, 2010
at 03:05 AM

they won't usually give it to women who have never been preggers.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 03, 2010
at 02:56 AM

If you combine body temperature readings with LH detection (probably what Anon is talking about) and also, shall we say, "timely removal," then the percentages are just as good as condoms, maybe better. Don't forget, condoms rip.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 12:25 AM

I second this question. Anyone have issues with the copper IUD?

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on August 03, 2010
at 12:18 AM

in my country we called "the Vatican roulette" for a reason...

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on August 02, 2010
at 11:30 PM

My existence is a testimony to the failure of the rhythm method ;)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 02, 2010
at 10:53 PM

Q. What do you call people who use the rhythm method? A. Parents. Seriously, 2 of my 3 children were conceived when we were practicing rhythm. It's only worth doing if you are okay with it failing.

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22 Answers

best answer

2
6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on August 05, 2010
at 11:12 AM

Birth control pills were a disaster for me - I got migraines along with other fun side effects. I had very few issues with progesterone only pills. You do have to take those exactly on time and consistently, or they don't work, since they don't always prevent ovulation, just implantation.

I used to use a cervical cap, which I loved, but they don't make them any more. All the current options bear no resemblance to the Prentif cervical cap. I mostly use sponges now, and they beat the heck out of condoms.

While spermicide isn't "natural", condoms are coated with the same chemical (nonoxnol-9)

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on July 06, 2011
at 01:11 AM

I ended up with jaundice/the beginnings of liver failure the last time I attempted to use the Pill so now it's strictly non-hormone birth control for me. I am not at all happy with the copper IUD but was hoping that cervical caps would be the next best choice? Do you mind expanding on why they aren't the same as they were/why you're not a fan any longer? Thanks!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 06, 2011
at 01:33 AM

Did they really stop making the Prentif cap? I loved that puppy, but haven't replaced it for years since I'm breeding these days. My favorite thing was that you could use homemade spermicide in it as the chemical stuff gave me UTIs.

best answer

8
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on August 10, 2010
at 01:49 AM

Fertility Awareness Method

I've used fertility awareness method (FAM) with my husband for 3.5 years and it's been effective thus far! You just have to get used to taking your temp every morning (or just during your fertile phase) and to checking your vaginal fluids. It's super easy we just avoid sex when I'm fertile (or we use a condom). And we have sex when I'm not fertile. Takes the guess-work out of it!!

Get this book: Taking Charge of Your Fertility

And visit this website: Taking Charge of Your Fertility

The information in the book will blow your mind. I was sooo mad that I hadn't been taught any of the information found therein while I was in biology class or sex ed in high school. We should all know this stuff!!

And yes... GET OFF THE PILL!!

A846ed028a91515ea814dd0c713718f4

(363)

on June 30, 2011
at 11:45 AM

I totally agree, and I would like to emphasize that FAM is NOT the same thing as the rhythm method, which we all know doesn't work very well. The rhythm method assumes every woman has a 28 day cycle, which is not always true. FAM charts basal body temperature and cervical fluid to tell you when your body's fertile, which is amazing and makes so much sense. If used correctly (100% adherence) it's as effective as condoms (~96%) or better. There's medical literature to back these statements up, if you want to check. Then just use condoms when you're fertile or need to protect against STDs.

A846ed028a91515ea814dd0c713718f4

(363)

on June 30, 2011
at 11:44 AM

I totally agree, and I would like to emphasize that FAM is NOT the same thing as the rhythm method, which we all know doesn't work very well. The rhythm method assumes every woman has a 28 day cycle, which is not always true. FAM charts basal body temperature and cervical fluid to tell you when you're body's fertile, which is amazing and makes so much sense. If used correctly (100% adherence) it's as effective as condoms (~96%) or better. There's medical literature to back these statements up, if you want to check. Then just use condoms when you're fertile or need to protect against STDs.

6
35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

(295)

on August 02, 2010
at 10:41 PM

Does anyone have thoughts or experiences with Paraguard (copper, non-hormonal IUD)? I'm curious about them (I'm on the pill now, have been for about 5 years) but I've heard of people have significant bleeding, muscle pain and rejection issues.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 12:25 AM

I second this question. Anyone have issues with the copper IUD?

35deb6722604c868c610088a6d8ce09e

(295)

on August 03, 2010
at 01:28 PM

That's interesting - I've lost 35 lbs since the being of this year on low carb/lacto paleo and noticed pre-menstrual cycle nausea now (happened last Saturday). I would assume would have more of an effect now since they're less of me now? What other side effects from the pill did you have? Unfortunately, I don't think I'm eligible for a Paraguard since I'm early 20s, never been pregnant (don't really ever plan to be though). Thanks for the info!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 03, 2010
at 03:05 AM

they won't usually give it to women who have never been preggers.

Ebabb65abc8da1267d0204b9b8d0dbf2

(0)

on August 03, 2010
at 07:11 AM

I have 2 kids and used the pill for years. After going paleo and losing 50lbs I started noticing the side effects of the pill. After talking with my DR. and my sister who has had a paraguard for 4 years I decided to try it. I was skeptical but I have had it in for 3 months and am HAPPY. After insertion, I had very little pain and NO bleeding. My first cycle was heavier and 2 days longer. My second cycle started 25 days later and was a bit heavy and 2 days longer. The only negative for me is I feel a bit of nausea prior to my cylce starting. Three months into it and I am happy with my decision.

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on August 04, 2010
at 06:27 PM

I'm definitely going to ask my Dr. about this- but given that I don't have kids I know there is a hesitation. The risk being that if it becomes infected for any reason there is a chance it will leave you sterile.

25819079a9264c10bcba7cd592e16216

(446)

on August 05, 2010
at 01:40 AM

I am 24, never had kids, have the Paragard and love it! I have had basically the same experience as kat - initially, the cramps are terrible but it does get better! now, one year later, there are some months with bad cramping and others without. *Marisa - specifically ask your doctor for it... s/he should do it.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:10 AM

I have had two kids and plan on getting one once my menstrual cycle starts again (it's been 4 years!!!). I do have a friend, also with two kids, who had hers dislodge, and she was very lucky to have it removed without scar tissue or surgery. So...that scares me a little...

5c0c2b66536c5977c1826d2e1df2095f

(0)

on August 03, 2010
at 01:35 PM

I don't have any kids and got the paraguard about a year ago. Never had a problem with cramping before insertion, which was painful but tolerable, but holy crap did I ever have cramps after insertion! Bleeding definitely heavy and periods that used to last 4-5 days lasted a full week (11 days the first time). Good news: cramps eventually subsided, and now a full year later I'm back to normal. Bleeding is still heavier but only for a day or two, but periods still lasting 6-7 days. BUT, I'm happy to be off of pills (took them for 14 years). Seriously, those things were making me crazy.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on July 06, 2011
at 01:06 AM

My experience with Paragard is very similar to kat's. I had it inserted 8 months ago and am still having insanely horrible heavy periods and terrible cramps and PMS. I didn't even think having periods this heavy was humanly possible. They are brutal and last for 8 days. I'm seriously considering having the IUD taken out but the last resort is a diaphragm or cervical cap and I haven't got much info on either of those as a worthwhile alternative.

6c08e876b450e9b28964b9ec262ac1de

(75)

on August 14, 2012
at 01:15 PM

I got Paraguard at age 31, no children. Heavy cramps, periods for first three cycles, then it evened out and I loved it. Removed it at age 36 and my cycles went from regular 28 day cycles to 22-24 days with VERY light bleeding. Since we're trying to get pregnant, I'm not happy: My luteal phase is good at 14 days, but my follicular phase is running 8-10 days (it had been 14 days on Paraguard.) Apparently most women have full fertility return immediately upon removal, but not all. I would still recommend Paraguard if you don't want to use FAM, but remove it well before conception efforts.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 02, 2013
at 04:25 PM

I got pregnant on Paraguard. Just sayin. If you do get pregnant it can be a nightmare because the IUD can cause issues.

5
8ff581740136502218ac1f91f2c10b39

on September 25, 2010
at 12:38 PM

Jumping Jacks after sex... it works great and it's extra exercise!!!

Disclaimer: This will probably not actually work.

5
E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on August 02, 2010
at 10:24 PM

The rhythm method, based on basal body temperature and cervical observations, is free (besides the cost of the thermometer) and has been practiced for ages. You need to be diligent about tracking and it can take a few months to learn how to identify when you're ovulating, especially if you have irregular cycles, but it works. Whatever you do, GET OFF THE PILL!

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on August 02, 2010
at 11:30 PM

My existence is a testimony to the failure of the rhythm method ;)

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2

(1239)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:09 AM

My experience with "fertility awareness" (aka the rhythm method) is that it is only as effective as your willpower. My hubby and I knew it was risky, but were drunk (and I was ovulating, which peaks desire!), and thus our firstborn was. For the second, it was intentional, but worked really, really well.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 07:00 AM

Re: condom effectiveness in the comments above - I disagree. The numbers are much better than that and that includes ruptured condoms.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on August 03, 2010
at 12:18 AM

in my country we called "the Vatican roulette" for a reason...

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 02, 2010
at 10:53 PM

Q. What do you call people who use the rhythm method? A. Parents. Seriously, 2 of my 3 children were conceived when we were practicing rhythm. It's only worth doing if you are okay with it failing.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:18 AM

Maybe, but condoms have a typical success rate of 85%, which isn't that great either.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 03, 2010
at 02:56 AM

If you combine body temperature readings with LH detection (probably what Anon is talking about) and also, shall we say, "timely removal," then the percentages are just as good as condoms, maybe better. Don't forget, condoms rip.

A846ed028a91515ea814dd0c713718f4

(363)

on June 30, 2011
at 11:37 AM

Calling FAM "the rhythm method" is a total misnomer, and discredits the method. The rhythm method assumes every woman has a 28 day cycle, which is absolutely not true. FAM incorporates basal body temperature and cervical fluid to tell you when you're body's fertile as you go, which is amazing, and makes so much sense. If used correctly (100% adherence) it's as effective as condoms (~96%) or better. There is medical literature to back my statements up, if you want to check.

3
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:33 AM

Really, your options break down into the following categories. They are roughly in the order of their effectiveness. The different techniques, methods, formulations, etc. within each category vary in effectiveness, too.

Contraception (not getting pregnant)
1) abstinence
2) physical barrier methods
3) hormonal manipulation
4) chemical barrier methods
5) timing

Birth control (becoming un-pregnant)
1) surgical
2) chemical
3) hormonal

Using these definitions, most women prefer "contraception" to "birth control". I understand your question to say that you'd like to avoid the hormonal and chemical methods and that abstinence is undesirable, too. That leaves physical barriers and timing.

If you have a latex allergy and can't use regular condoms you can find polyurethane condoms. (Female condoms are also polyurethane, I believe.) Many condoms come with a spermicide called nonoxynol-9 to which some people are sensitive but you can get them without. Barrier methods work better when used in conjunction with spermicidal/chemical barrier methds. (The study Melissa cites says the condom failure rate was ~2% where as perfect withdrawal - iffy at best! - runs at a 4% failure rate. I'd want to see how they controlled for that!)

I put both withdrawal and the rhythm method in the timing category though obviously the time scale is different. Both rely on probabilities like how much sperm is in the pre-ejaculate (> 0) and how long sperm can remain viable (longer than you think - the probability drops off rapidly but doesn't reach zero for quite a few days). The withdrawal method has the added disadvantage of relying on the man to retain self-control at a point when self-control is least available. (Think paleo for a minute: Our bodies are set up to increase the chance of pregnancy!)

Assisted timing (like Persona/Clear Blue - I don't know anything about these) would be ways to improve the odds but can not reduce the odds to zero.

3
F82f7d4dafb6d0ffc4c2ee2a85420786

(484)

on August 02, 2010
at 10:55 PM

I went off the pill after about 10 years, and it was the best decision I could have made. I can't say exactly how I felt better, I just did. It also helped me control my weight, I think. I thought condoms would be a big fat pain to use, but really once you start, it's not that big of a deal. Except if you go away for a weekend and forget to take them!

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:37 AM

But you can buy them pretty much anywhere.

2
4706671587e28ca4bf56ab9cb7a4bd52

on August 04, 2010
at 04:09 AM

I haven't tried this, but have girlfriends that swear by it. Have used it for years without any "accidents". Once I have a regular lover again I fully intend to use this method :)

http://raxmedical.com/pearly.php

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 04, 2010
at 04:54 AM

That's really interesting. I've never heard of devices like that. I'm definitely going to look into that, though it seems a bit too good to be true right now.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 04, 2010
at 09:35 PM

Interesting, thanks for the link. I've been on the pill for the past 7 years, and when I was last off it, my cycles varied anywhere from 6 weeks to 3-4 months, so I have no idea if something like this could work. Curious to see what my cycles are like off the pill though...

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 24, 2011
at 03:03 AM

I've used LadyComp (same company, same general design) and am a very satisfied customer (see my answer for details).

2
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 03, 2010
at 03:04 AM

Did you know withdrawal is just as effective as condoms? If I were married (IE getting pregnant would not be the end of the world) I would use this + Clear Blue (and ALWAYS withdraw, just don't have sex at all when Persona says not to).

There has never been a study finding sperm in the pre-ejaculate that I know of.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:49 AM

I've heard that some of the little swimmers can get out long before the main flood, so withdrawal is not 100 percent safe.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:27 AM

What do you mean about women having to wait so long?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 03, 2010
at 10:11 AM

In our society most women have to wait until they are over 30 to have children because of financial and social circumstances.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:05 PM

Oh okay I get you. I never thought of that before, but that's a good point.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 05:46 AM

Eva's right. I'd wonder what "almost" means.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 03, 2010
at 04:00 AM

Depends on how much you don't want a baby. It's too bad women have to wait so long, but I'm one of them waiting, so I can't really offer a solution.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:33 AM

I wouldn't want to take the risk with withdrawal. Too many things can go wrong. Maybe I'm just paranoid....

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 07:02 AM

Eva's right - not many get a head start but it only takes 1!

1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8

(1600)

on January 20, 2011
at 03:43 PM

Withdrawal is not the same as condoms.Only took me 4 months to get pregnant using that(as opposed to none in 12 years using condoms) and we were diligent about pulling out.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 21, 2011
at 06:19 AM

Well anecdotes don't negate that study. I know people who used condoms who got pregnant and people who used withdrawl who didn't.

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 03, 2010
at 02:52 AM

I hear the safest and easiest medical intervention is for the man to get snipped, not the woman. (sorry guys..) The males I have known had no side effects except for a short recovery period. -Eva

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:19 AM

That's probably the best option, but only if you are monogamous and don't want children later.

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on August 04, 2010
at 06:31 PM

Yeah- but we do eventually want kids!

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:35 AM

That is absolutely true, Eva. It is a permanent solution (mostly), though.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 06, 2012
at 02:01 AM

This is almost permanent- however, it was the month after my dad got snipped that we found out we were going to have a baby brother!

1
94a4a87e3d2e1e9160b6ed77678b4bea

(1311)

on August 14, 2012
at 06:00 AM

I had a terrible reaction after going back on the pill for 1 week (after not taking it for about 6 years) - so I highly recommend FAM but in my much easier way which is to use LadyComp or BabyComp! Great for travel and has been an asset for myself and my husband.

1
9ce78c27a506960f3e4254727b024b75

on August 14, 2012
at 05:49 AM

Personally the pull out method always worked. Till my husband didn't pull out (a few times in one month) and I now have a bouncing 5 month old baby boy :) I don't ever think I've been a very fetile girl because this has worked for years and years but I know once being pregnant sometimes can make it easier to get pregnant again so I think I will be doing a combo of the FAM method and bringing a shot gun to bed- so he pulls out.

1
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 24, 2011
at 03:02 AM

Though I originally answered it here, I'm going to put this here, too, because the LadyComp was so useful and dependable for us:

I've never gone on the BCP - I had malignant melanoma as a teenager and when the time to find birth control came, I concluded that my body had already shown that it was predisposed to cancer, so through that filter of perhaps fuzzy logic (I had no BCP/melanoma correlation studies, just going on a hunch), I went searching for more natural options and found LadyComp, a cute little alarm clock with attached thermometer that takes basal body temp every morning and assesses your fertility with a very high degree of precision. (I'm not a LadyComp shill, just a satisfied user!) It worked terrifically for us, and when we finally DID decide to "go for it" during a time the LadyComp said I could be fertile, I conceived right away. The only catch? I haven't used it since becoming the mom of young kids because my kids' sleep schedules / nursing schedules plus lactational amenorrhea (no ovulation/period while nursing) made it impossible to have predictable sleep for a while, OR to enter a dates of having a period (which the LadyComp also uses in its logarithmic assessments of the user's fertility). SO, that said, I think it is a great best-of-natural-fertility-awareness-plus-modern-technology option for those who have fairly steady sleep schedules (or at least three hours of undisturbed sleep prior to waking in the morning) and are menstruating.

1
4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on September 25, 2010
at 12:44 AM

A vasectomy sounds like a good idea to me!

1
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 05, 2010
at 12:48 PM

I obviously can't comment from personal experience and don't have any more details of non-hormone alternatives that others have suggested.

The pill you are taking is a combined pill containing both an oestrogen and a progesterone hormone. As most of the side effects are due to the oestrogen you could try switching to a progesterone only pill. They are equally effective it taken correctly.

It is also possible to get a progesterone only implants that last 3 years or injections that last 3 months. They have the advantage that you can't forget to take them.

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on August 05, 2010
at 01:19 PM

They have the disadvantage that if you do have a problem, you're screwed because you can't go off them as desired.

1
Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:26 AM

How about "outercourse" (no vaginal penetration)? It takes a little self-control but it's very effective. It could be combined with fertility awareness methods or that persona/clear blue thing.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Good point! There are *many* ways to have fun that effectively reduce the chance of pregnancy.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 04, 2010
at 07:38 PM

Haha well it's just another option.

D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

(421)

on August 04, 2010
at 06:31 PM

I have a feeling that my husband might get a bit tired of that if it's all we do! ha ha ha!!

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 03, 2010
at 02:22 AM

tubal ligation- some people are saying it worsens perimenopause/menopause, but i haven't seen evidence of it. i had it 13 years ago. still use condoms for protection from stds.

1
F256678460c5afe31bdab98049fcde6f

(10)

on August 02, 2010
at 08:19 PM

My wife and I used Persona (Clear Blue in the US). It's 95% effective, according to the box. She pees on a stick each morning and presses some buttons at certain times in the month on the main device and it tells us when it's safe to get busy. You do have to get used to the idea that this will only be a fraction of the time - but you can just use condoms or other approaches the rest of the time. It's not the cheapest mothod around - those sticks are not that cheap. But it's hormone free.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:38 AM

Be careful of the percentages on claims by the manufacturer.

0
A09291f4d2d01531edede5b0cbb938bf

on May 06, 2012
at 12:36 AM

Look up Natural Family Planning. It's not the rhythm method of old. It's highly effective when followed. Couples who use it also report better, and more frequent sexual encounters. It also works as a means to get pregnant with high accuracy.

0
Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on September 25, 2010
at 12:23 AM

Another rhythm method practitioner here. Actually, we used a combination of rhythm, condoms, and withdrawal. I've never used oral contraceptives. I have four children and all except the first were conceived when I wanted to conceive them. That being said, I've always had a very, very regular menstrual cycle and knew when in the cycle ovulation normally occurred - ie I listened in biology class. ;-)

0
0037d03799fbdf83d3edc63dab01ac5a

(236)

on August 10, 2010
at 01:38 PM

IUD is not counterindicated for nulliparous (women with no history of pregnancies) - this is an idea that doctors still spread because: 1- they don't know otherwise 2- they are not used to implant IUDs and are afraid to do it on someone who has never had kids 3- there is indeed 1 in 1,000 chances to have a rejection, incident after insertion which can eventually lead to infertility (so the stakes are higher on nulliparous)

I have been off the pill for about a year now and uses condoms in the meantime, but i am planning on getting an IUD soon (not planning on having kids for the next 4 years so I think it's worth it)

The chances of something wrong happening are slim, especially because I did some research and found a place where they insert IUDs very regularly and have very good feedbacks on forums.

0
D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on August 05, 2010
at 09:17 AM

Withdrawal seems like the most natural.

It was definitely known in the ancient world.

It is mentioned explicitly in the Bible: Genesis 38:9

It is unclear whether the sin was the act of withdrawal itself, or more likely the motivation behind it.

Early Jewish sources are varied, but according to mystical cabalistic schools it is a very big no-no. Later Jewish code books go on and on about how bad it is, so Rabbis direct women to oral contraceptives! A big shame, IMHO.

I don't think that it would have been so widespread, and so sternly opposed if it wasn't very effective.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on September 24, 2010
at 09:03 PM

Many people are alive today thanks to the withdrawal method :)

Dbd1e8fad5d4b47409d84bd6610020d5

(368)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:48 AM

Matthew, many people are alive today thanks to failing condoms. No method is 100% effective. Withdrawal, when used correctly (which is rare), is just slightly less effective than condoms. People also get pregnant on the pill.

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