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When's the best time to get pregnant? Use our interactive ovulation calculator to work out when you're most fertile and most likely to conceive.

How long could natural planning methods work for?

(15 Posts)
chelle792 Tue 10-Nov-15 11:35:05

I miscarried in August. We aren't in a massive hurry to conceive but it would be amazing if it happens.

We have this crazy idea that we will avoid my fertile days or just rely on withdrawal.

I guess the idea is that it will delay conception for a while so we can get ourselves sorted.

Anyone have experience they can share about using natural methods?

specialsubject Tue 10-Nov-15 13:36:33

withdrawal is totally ineffective so don't spoil the fun! A bit of calendar roulette could delay things if you have a regular cycle.

Micah Tue 10-Nov-15 13:41:34

If you would be happy to conceive if it does happen then go for it.

We have been (successfully, so far) using natural methods for 10 years.

JasperDamerel Tue 10-Nov-15 13:46:22

Withdrawal doesn't work, but using the fertility awareness method is actually very reliable if you do it properly. You can't just rush in straight away though, because it takes a while to learn and you really ought to use barrier methods until you know your own cycle and can do it properly. I used it to plan and space my children, and avoided pregnancy successfully for 6 months, got pregnant in the first cycle of trying, avoided pregnancy for 2 years after DC1 was born and again got pregnant in the first cycle of trying for DC2, so I found it very effective. The big downside is that you have to avoid sex at the point in your libido is highest, which is why I now use other methods.

Fink Tue 10-Nov-15 13:53:22

If you use a proper sympto-thermal method (or other proper method, but ST is the one I've used so it's all I know about), it will work more or less forever. The percentage rates of conception are incredibly low, when practised properly. Actual conception rates are reasonably high (compared to, e.g. the coil) because a lot of people play fast and loose with the rules. If you're prepared to actually learn a method and chart, it will work. If you just avoid a couple of days around when you think you might be ovulating, it almost certainly won't work (possibly unless you have fertility problems anyway). If neither of you has a fertility problem, you are more likely to conceive than not (I think within 6 months? Possibly a year) by just avoiding a couple of days.

Withdrawal doesn't work at all.

I loved NFP when I practised it. I loved the closeness with dh. I loved not being pumped full of artificial hormones and all the attendant side effects. In a geeky way, I actually really liked the charting and seeing the patterns over the months. In a slightly earth-mothery way, I liked being in touch with my body's changes over the month.

If it were me and I didn't mind another pregnancy but wasn't actually ttc, I wouldn't bother charting, I would just relax and see what happens, with the understanding that pregnancy is probably what would happen. smile

Although, if you did want to learn NFP in the long term, it's much easier to learn when your situation is 'normal', i.e. not post partum.

chelle792 Tue 10-Nov-15 15:02:41

This is all really useful advice. We definitely wouldn't be disappointed if I were to conceive. We would be over the moon but just don't want to actively ttc.

I think I can tell when I'm ovulating as I get really bad symptoms when I do. I don't ovulate every month. When I conceived in June I started with the symptoms and said to DH (oooh that's the first time I've ever used DH!! Got married Saturday) 'now's our chance'. It worked! Technically our first month ttc but were just using withdrawal and my lack of ovulation as our methods

AnythingThatWorks Tue 10-Nov-15 15:06:47

I was avoiding fertile days when I conceived...twice!
For DC1, I will admit that I was a bit careless and we went ahead without a condom when it was iffy.

For DC2, I was temping and tracking in Fertility Friend to avoid fertile days but I had a really long cycle one month (took a pregnancy test as was wondering what was going on) and then conceived the next month despite being fairly sure of my dates.

Now that we are finished with having children, I rely on the coil but if you are not actively ttcing and conceiving would be ok, you should be grand with natural charting for a while, especially if you have regular cycles.

Fink Tue 10-Nov-15 15:08:54

Glad it has helped.

Just to warn you: if you can tell when you're ovulating, that's the end of the fertile period (more or less). You are most fertile in the 5 days (+/- a day) before ovulation so avoiding on the day when you think you're ovulating won't help to avoid pregnancy.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 10-Nov-15 15:10:58

We have used withdrawal and avoidance of ovulation for 19 years. In that time we have had three pregnancies, (sadly one was a miscarriage) all conceived first month of trying.

TheLuckDragon Tue 10-Nov-15 15:26:43

We have been using withdrawal and avoiding the fertile window for 14 months so far and have not conceived!

Although, I did recently get told by a doctor that 80% of people using withdrawal become pregnant within a year.

Guess we are just lucky!

chelle792 Tue 10-Nov-15 15:40:41

fink that's really interesting. So if I avoid about five days before I think I will ovulate...?

When does CM become apparent? Before ovulation would be really useful? I'm thinking it would be before because that's what protects the semen?

I tend to get sore boobs and cramps leading up to ovulation and quite horrible cramps when I do ovulate.

You guys are secretly making me excited that nfp might not work blush a baby would be a good thing but we just aren't ready to actively ttc just yet. A happy accident would be great

AnythingThatWorks Tue 10-Nov-15 16:21:08

The main drawback of natural planning is that you are generally going to be most in want of sex (hate the word horny and will not use it!) during your fertile period so it can spoil the fun a bit to have to interrupt to get a condom/withdraw or avoid during that time!

Oh, and its failure rate is a drawback too for those that truly don't want to get pregnant at all.

chelle792 Tue 10-Nov-15 16:27:05

It would be a shame to miss the sex when I'm in the mood!
DH doesn't get on well with condoms and I don't get on well with hormone based contraceptives so I guess we risk it!

Fink Tue 10-Nov-15 17:42:29

OP: Yes, CM comes several days before ovulation, more or less in coincidence with highly fertile days (if anyone who wants not to conceive is reading this - DON'T use CM alone as a reliable guide of fertility!).

Pretty much as soon as you're sure ovulation has occurred would be considered a 'safe' time (Phase 3).

You could avoid for 5 days before when you think you're going to ovulate, but I had a very regular cycle and even I wouldn't try to predict to the day when I thought I would ovulate, particularly not from 5-6 days out. But then you don't seem too bothered about the possibility of conceiving, so ... wink

JasperDamerel Tue 10-Nov-15 17:48:42

I used it without any problems with an irregular cycle, but doing that requires a very good knowledge of your body's baseline, so that you can spot the changes in cervical fluid etc. Actually, one of the nicest things was that I was no longer surprised by my period. It was lovely not having to carry sanitary protection around for ages on the off chance that I would need it. Instead I could just wake up, take my temperature, and know.

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