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Calling any CM spotters, fertility charters and tempers - does anyone actually use this as their long-term choice of contraception?

(13 Posts)
AnnasBananas Mon 11-Aug-08 13:57:11

I'm 35 and have two lovely dds who were both conceived using fertility awareness and sympto-thermal family planning (yes, lots of temping and charting going on here) I started doing it becase I hadn't falled pregnant after six months trying and wanted to do something pro-active about it GP wasn't going to refer me for tests etc as I was only 31. Anyway to cut a long story short I conceived dd1 after 13 months and dd2 after 5 months.

Now I feel we have completed our family but the problem I have is that I don't want to go back on the pill for another 20 years, I don't like the idea of pumping more hormones into myself and found that the pill took away my libido completely. I also don't like the thought of the coil as something foreign (up there) and DH doesn't feel ready for the snip, to be honest I don't feel ready for him to be snipped. Not too many options left I think you'll agree.

I found all the charting and temping so interesting and learnt so much about my cycle and when I was fertile. I don't really have a problem with continuting to temp and chart for natural family planning but all my friends think I am completely mad to do this.

Is anyone out there using natural family planning long-term by choice? How do you find it and how careful are you? Do you follow the rule of six over three (ie no unprotected sex six days before ovulation and three days after)? I would like to hear about your experiences.

Jacksmybaby Mon 11-Aug-08 21:14:13

I have a friend who has used it... and is now pregnant for the second time (both unplanned, both conceived while using this method!).

Agree there is real lack of choice for decent contraceptives. Having considered all the options I ended up back on the pill - least of all evils.

walkinthewoods Tue 12-Aug-08 06:20:23

try 'taking charge of your fertility' by toni weschler. will give you an in depth guide to using this method.
took 14 motnhs to conceive #1 then first try #2 using the methods from this book. was fascinated by it all and was a shame that i didn't know all about it first time round. have considered using it as a contraception but tbh can't be arsed so use condoms. not sure this helps but i'm with you about the other methods of contraception (dp doesn't mind condoms tho)

AnnasBananas Tue 12-Aug-08 08:04:00

Jacksmybaby...yeah...not really what I was wanting to hear!

Walkinthewoods, thanks for that advice I think I will get that book. I'm also going to try and find a NFP practitioner local to me.

peachygirl Tue 12-Aug-08 19:21:21

I do. D is now 18 months old I was taking the pill but it was awful so went back to this. I was originally trained by Natrural Family Planning nurse

I also use a Persona machine. I'm finding temping to be hard as DD wakes early and I often forget or things are a bit erratic. I was 4.45am this morning Yawn.

Discipline is the key and I suppose it helps if you don't have lots of sex - were too knackered most of the time sad.

I do err on caution even if the persona machine gives me a green day after the ovulation sign I give it a couple of extra days.

The persona machine is good as it formalises things for you. The six over three is a guide remember.
From the machine I'm basically fertile from day 6 and I got the Ovulation sign todayon day 14 Thats 8 days. Remember you can get pregnant at the beginning of your cycle due to sperm hanging around where as it is less lilkey towards the end of your cycle

I find that evening primrose gives me better CM to track.

The Toni weschler book is great. I also have another book called Fertily by Dr.Elizabeth Clubb & Jane Knight,

This is a great website you can down load charts

The persona site is here

You can CAT me if you want or I can CAT you.

AnnasBananas Tue 12-Aug-08 21:40:13

Thanks Peachygirl. I err on the side of caution, too. I am lucky in that my cycle is quite long and that can work in my favour, not usually fertile until day 12 or so, so we normally get in a week after AF then have a 10 day 'careful time', then can have the last eight days condom free. I might get one of these Persona machines, how much do the sticks cost, do you know? Also how did you get in touch with the Natural Famiy planning nurse, just through your GP nurses? Thanks

emma1977 Tue 12-Aug-08 22:03:11

Natural family planning can be very effective contraception if you have a predictable cycle, are good with your charting and are strict about using condoms or abstaining during the risky time.

You can get more training from your local FPC. I'm not sure whether persona or the sticks are prescribable by them too (I've never been asked!), but it is worth asking.

vesela Wed 13-Aug-08 20:39:46

I used Persona before we started TTC and it was fine (having said that, it took me a year to get pregnant so maybe I'm not super fertile anyway!).

It was occasionally annoying when I would get up to pee in the morning and forget to do the stick thing, but better than forgetting the pill or throwing up and wondering whether it's worked. Given that with Persona you pretty much know what is happening when anyway, if you forget the stick at a crucial time you just err on the side of caution.

Like peachygirl, I used to err on the side of caution after the O sign and wait an extra day or so after the light went green.

vesela Wed 13-Aug-08 20:46:37

I forgot to add that I did it by choice (very similar reasons to yours) and yes, the odd friend who knew thought I was mad, even though it's pretty reliable and I was in a committed relationship anyway. I suppose in a high-tech world where the pill is seen as liberating it might seem odd, but it suited me so I stuck with it.

AnnasBananas Thu 14-Aug-08 14:37:13

Thanks for all your comments.

I had a smear test today and asked the practice nurse if there was anyone at the practice trained in NFP she looked at me like I was a nutter, said 'no one does that anymore' and also added I was the first person who had ever asked her that. WTF??The woman was in her fifties??? Can't quite believe that one. Anyway she gave me the list of Family Planning clinics and said to try them perhaps someone would know. Think I'll buy that Toni Weschler book first then decide if I need to talk to anyone further. I am pretty confident I know what I'm doing but it wouldn't hurt to get extra advice.

peachygirl Thu 14-Aug-08 19:29:29

There are lists of NFP nurses on the fertility UK website.

Maybe there is one listed for your area?

PussinJimmyChoos Thu 14-Aug-08 19:41:00

My sister in law is from the Middle East and a lot more people use the natural method there than here. She uses the counting method as you described and it has worked for 10 years so far...I told her to watch out for menopause though as that can cock it all up and you can ovulate more randomly - or so I've heard

I'm thinking of doing this method once finished with all the baby making (ttc no 2 atm) as I think its so much more natural and I do have a regular cycle, ovulation pains etc...

AnnasBananas Thu 14-Aug-08 21:43:39

Thanks, Peachygirl. Checked out the list and can you believe it not one is listed for the whole of Essex?? Bizarre.

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