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Charting as contraception?

(4 Posts)
MarianaTrench Sat 18-May-13 09:00:31

I am 40 and have two DDs. We are agreed that we don't want any more but neither of us fancy sterilization / vasectomy. I don't get on with hormonal contraception and have heard negative things about persistent bleeding with a coil from my sisters.

I have spent the past 5 years charting my cycle in order to conceive and feel that I know my body pretty well. Am I mad to think that we could use no additional contraception except when I might be fertile and then use condoms?

I realise that as I approach the menopause my cycle may become more irregular but as a counter to that it's always taken me considerable efforts to get pregnant (sex every night and day for a week) which are very unlikely to be replicated for pleasure! Presumably my fertility will be further diminishing too. (If I were to accidentally get pregnant it would not be a disaster. I do feel that I am too old though.)

I'd be interested in any experiences of this, thanks!

scaevola Sat 18-May-13 09:45:23

We used NFP plus condoms for many years without mishap. Dates alone isn't the most reliable, but if you combine it with mucus and temperature, and have a regular cycle then its perfect use failure rate is quite low. The snag is that perfection can be hard to achieve, so it might not be a method to go for is another pg would be disastrous.

When my cycle started to go a bit weird in my late 40s, we were ready to make the decision for vasectomy.

MarianaTrench Sat 18-May-13 10:40:57

Natural family planning - that's what it's called. I couldn't remember!

I wouldn't bother with taking my temperature but cm, opk and dates. Interesting figures, thanks. I'm pretty cautious so would err towards condom use if unsure.

Dahlialover Wed 22-May-13 13:54:50

You need to research it pretty carefully.

As I understand it, you can have sex every other day until you get to 6 days before you ovulate, then every day three days after ovulation has been confirmed by a temperature rise.

During perimenopause, when you may not ovulate and cycles are variable, you can have sex every other day during the time that your mucus is in its usual state (dry or small amount) but leave 4 days, each time that changes to make sure you have not ovulated.

Ovulation can be confirmed by a temperature rise. You can also use the position of your cervix as a guide, along with the mucus changes, to increase accuracy.

I have been charting for about 5 months for perimenopause and it is useful as a guide for when my period will start. I have a clear sudden dip in temp the morning before, which is helpful smile I have had fertile mucus with no temp rise and with or without a following period.

I understand that it is difficult to get pregnant at my age because the right combination of endometrium preparation, ovulation, mucus and luteal phase do not come together as often, but am using condoms (which I would not have considered as 'contraception' some years ago when I was getting pregnant first time) as I do not have sufficient confidence in my chart interpretation skills.

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