Recently there have been a lot of talks – big and small, on how women can ditch pills, IUDs (intrauterine devices), and latex to prevent pregnancy by natural methods. But what are natural methods anyway, and do they even work? If you are equally curious, then hold on; just read a little further. We will give you a little wiki to understand the what, how, ifs, and buts of natural birth control methods!
1. First Things First, What Are Natural Birth Control Methods?
Natural birth control methods, otherwise known as FAMs (fertility awareness methods), and the rhythm method, involve preventing pregnancy by measuring basal body temperature, the thickness of the cervical mucus, tracking dates for ovulation and menses, and the classic pull-out method.
2. The Sanitized Sales Pitch
If you have been wondering how these methods work, here are some basics. The rhythm method requires women to calculate the ovulation date, which helps them identify their fertile days, and women should prevent unprotected coitus on those days. The basal body temperature method works on the principle that the body temperature elevates by a degree during ovulation. The cervical mucus becomes thick and stretchy, indicating ovulation. Another method, the lactational amenorrhea method, helps prevent pregnancy when the mother is exclusively breastfeeding her child. Finally, the classic withdrawal or the pull-out method is based on men’s ability to pull out before ejaculating.
3. The Cherry on the Cake
All the methods mentioned above, irrespective of their efficacy, do have many advantages. They are cheaper than the non-natural methods, with the expense being only at the end of buying a thermometer to check the body temperature. They have no side effects experienced by certain women when they are on ‘the pill.’ It also helps women keep track of their cycles and look out for any abnormalities.
4. The Ifs and Buts
Well, well, except for having no side effects and being extremely cost-effective, the methods do have questionable quips – they do not work on most occasions! Measuring basal body temperature cannot be a clear indicator of ovulation. The pull-out method is also not as 100 % effective as it requires a lot of attention to time, and the pre-ejaculate can also carry semen. The cycles can also vary for every individual due to various external factors, such as stress, diet, underlying health conditions, etc., thereby making it unreliable to identify the fertile period.
5. The Final Verdict- Should You Join the Bandwagon?
It is okay if you disagree with us, but as easy, fancy, or cost-effective as these methods may seem, they have a low success rate. What is the point of adopting methods that do not help us achieve the primary goal, such as contraception? We suggest discussing various effective contraception methods with a doctor instead of opting for ways that might not work and cause more chaos. If all is not lost, then where is it?