Natural Birth Control methods

Natural birth control is based on working out fertile and infertile times of a female cycle. Each of the methods helps to determine this period. However, despite the fact that such birth control methods do not harm men and women, they are not very reliable and do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Advantages and disadvantages

Major advantages of biological birth control:

  • no harm to the health of the partners;
  • cost savings;
  • there is an opportunity both to avoid pregnancy and to plan it;
  • deep knowledge about the female reproductive system (which is important to maintain good health).

Despite its simplicity and safeness, the method still has its disadvantages:

  • low effectiveness (10-25 women out 100 and who used natural birth control get pregnant every year);
  • no protection against sexually transmitted infections;
  • it can be used only if a woman is absolutely healthy;
  • the sexual intercourse must be avoided at certain times of the month.

Physiological basis

Menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days but the cycles may vary and deviation up to 7 days is a norm. During the cycle the egg is released from the ovary. There are three main phases of a menstrual cycle:

  • Proliferative (relative sterility). It starts from the very first day of menstruation and ends when ovulation begins.
  • Ovulatory (fertility). This phase occurs in the middle of the cycle when the egg is mature and is located in the uterine tubes. This period is the most favorable for impregnation.
  • Luteal phase (absolute sterility). This phase starts when ovulations ends and it lasts until the first day of the next menstrual cycle.

Being aware of the physiological cycle enables the partners to know when impregnation is not possible. However, natural birth control is not for everyone.

Contraindications of natural birth control methods:

  • irregular menstruations (often even the slightest deviation from the 28 days cycle is not permissible for using the method);
  • if pregnancy poses danger for health and life of a woman (it is strongly recommended to use more effective methods);
  • after artificial termination of pregnancy or physiological (natural) delivery (as the menstrual cycle is not restored yet after hormonal changes).

Types of biological birth control

Rhythm (Calendar) method

Before using this method, it is necessary to analyze the menstrual cycle, at least, six months or a year in advance. Select the shortest period and subtract 18 days from it. The resulting number is the first potentially fertile day. Subtract 11 from the longest cycle and you will know the last potentially fertile day.

The effectiveness of the method depends on several factors:

  • gynecological health;
  • environment;
  • psychological condition of a woman;
  • the level of immune protection;
  • hormonal balance.

Any deviations in the menstrual cycle significantly reduce the effectiveness of the calendar method.

Standard days method

natural birth control
This method of contraception is a variation of the calendar method and suits women with regular but variable menstrual cycle. It is assumed that 9-18 days of each menstrual is a fertile period. On other days a woman is absolutely safe and can not become pregnant.

This method is good for the partners who absolutely trust each other, to women who do not care much about getting pregnant and to the partners who can not use other methods for different reasons.

Basal body temperature method

By tracking female body basal temperature, a woman may predict when she will ovulate, consequently she will be aware of the fertility period.

The body temperature should be measured each time in one and the same place. For example:

  • mouth;
  • vagina;
  • rectum.

The temperature is measured every day in the morning before a woman left her bed and lasts for 5 minutes.

During ovulation basal temperature is higher than normal by about 0.5 degrees and stays the same during the whole fertility phase. To define safe days more precisely, a woman will want to make a special temperature chart.

However, sometimes depending on the individual characteristics of a female body, the temperature is the same during the whole menstrual cycle and in this case it is not allowed to use this method.

Ideal menstrual cycle (starting and ending strictly on one and the same day), eliminates the need in measuring the temperature every morning which is very convenient for a woman. Of course, no one is secure from the sudden changes in the body, so this method is also not very reliable.

Cervical mucus method

To use the cervical mucus method, it’s important to understand how cervical secretions change during a typical menstrual cycle.

Secretions change because in a fertile period helps the sperm cells travel up to the egg. The discharge appears which is viscous and transparent. A sexual intercourse must be avoided until secretions stop.

This method is not suitable for women with inflammations in the genitals. The effectiveness of this method is also low due to individual characteristics of genital tracts in every woman. Besides cervical mucus method is not very convenient.

Combined method

This is the birth control which includes all the above mentioned methods and it is called symptothermal or combined. Additionally to measuring temperature and analyzing secretion and calendar days, this method also includes psychological state of a woman.

Despite its complexity, this method is not more effective than the previous ones and for this reason it is barely used by sexual partners.

Rejected sexual intercourse as one of the natural birth control methods

This method stands aside as it does not relate to a female menstrual cycle. A man withdraws his penis from a woman’s vagina prior to ejaculation.

Rejected sexual intercourse has a lot of disadvantages, especially related to psychological tension in men and women. It also causes a number of disorders and is not recommended for use.