Okay girl, so you feel stuck – you know hormonal birth control is not the best option since research is now being published, what many have already claimed about hormonal contraceptives, they put you at a higher risk for breast cancer. Not only that but they are associated with many other negative symptoms such as depression, anxiety, acne, hair loss, hair growth in more male related areas, weight gain, nutrient deficiencies, low libido… and seriously this list could continue with even more scary things, but I will leave it at that.
But here is the thing – maybe you are in the minority and are actually taking birth control for stopping conception from happening. 40% of women use birth control for birth control, maybe it is time we call these drugs something else?! Okay, I digress. Back to you… now you really don’t know what to do, so you feel stuck.
I have been there, many of the women I have talked to have been there. It’s absolutely no easy decision to make. You have other options, and no, maybe they are not as easy or convenient as popping a pill everyday or getting an IUD, however, in the long run I would argue that they are much more convenient then let’s say low libido or high androgen levels… but that is just my opinion.
So now for options. Here are my top 4 options for birth control:
#1 FAM – Fertility Awareness Method
This link is to my favorite FAM book, Taking Charge of your Fertility. Fertility Awareness Method is commonly referred to as NFP, Natural Family Planning. What FAM or NFP is not, is it is not simply tracking your cycles and guessing. Here is the 3 main things you need to track when using FAM:
1.) Basal Body Temperature – this is your waking temperature and you will need a BBT thermometer that you can buy at your local drugstore or amazon. I LOVE The Wink thermometer, for it’s ease (directly links to their app to track your temp), how quick it measured BBT and the comfort of the mouth piece.
2.) Cervical Fluid – or otherwise known as your discharge. This is important stuff, it provides transportation for the sperm to meet the egg. You should notice this when you wipe or in your underwear. This occurs most right before ovulation. FAM teaches you teaches you the different stages of your Cervical Fluid and what that tells you about your fertile time of the month.
3.) Cervix Position – this one is more optional, it is helpful especially if you are finding that determining your fluid is difficult.
Using this method has been shown to be very effective – about 99.6% effective. Please note, this is not estimating your ovulation – this is truly knowing when/if you ovulate.
Besides this being an effective birth control method, I love it for how much it can tell you about your health. Things like:
- Do you ovulate?
- How long are your phases (Follicular and Luteal)?
- Low BBT (under 97 degrees) then you may be dealing with a thyroid or adrenal issue.
Your doctor should also be able to provide you with educators in your area so you can learn from someone in person, if reading a book is not your ideal way of learning.
I love the Kindara app and The Wink Thermometer they have created. The app is easy easy to use, it’s educational, and they have a community board where people can share their cycles and ask questions.
So this is amazing. It is a device/thermometer so just like with FAM you will be taking your temperature every morning before you rise. The catch or the good news with this is THAT IS ALL YOU WILL BE DOING. This device has an extensive data base that allows it to be an effective birth control on it’s own. No cervical tracking of any kind, and it will actually show you a green light when fertile, red light when not fertile, and yellow light when it is still learning your cycle.
It is definitely pricier then the above option, but it is 99.3% effective! If you have regular cycles and are not sure how great you are going to be at keeping track of everything with FAM, this is for you!
However, I do not recommend the DAYSY if your cycles are not somewhat regular. The DAYSY is made for you to have some variance in your tracking, but if you have very inconsistent cycles this is not the place to start. After you get your cycles evened out, then this is a great option!
The DAYSY learns your cycle and accurately lets you know whether you are fertile or not (your period app cannot do that – it’s only guessing).
This option is for all of you who are not so regular. This device seems to have been made for any woman, but especially those with irregular cycles due to PCOS, post birth control, Hypothalamic Ammonorhea or recently postnatal.
The OvaCue tracks your electrolytes through your saliva and your cervical discharge. It is able to predict ovulation up to 7 days prior, with showing you your most fertile days by a graph and colors to make it easy for you to understand! It also confirms that you have indeed ovulated.
With a 98% accuracy, this product is amazing for birth control and also trying to conceive! If you are in the trying to conceive camp or you may be soon – this can eliminate all those LH Ovulation test strips you will probably wind up buying.
#4 Barrier Methods
Now for number four: the barrier method, it can be used on it’s own or combined with the options above. I think it can be a great addition to numbers 1, 2 and 3 during your fertile windows, or used while you are learning the above methods.
The most common barrier method is a condom, however I think the diaphragm is seeing a resurgence. As I type that, I realize no one else might care about the popularity of barrier methods except for myself:). Anyways, here are the 2 suggestions for diaphragms.
- Caya – You will need a prescription from your doctor. It is helpful to get measured from your doctor so that you know that Caya will be a good fit for you. This diaphragm fits about 80% of women.
- FemCap – You can buy it right online without a doctors prescription. It comes in 3 different sizes, so it could be helpful to be measured by your doctor anyways. If you wear a menstrual cup, this could help you decide a size. The FemCap can be worn for up to 48 hours!
What else would you like to know?
With so much love and support,