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Family planning

Does anyone else just use menstrual cycle calculating as a contraceptive?

28 replies

TettyLouBar · 09/07/2012 14:09

I've been doing it for about a year. It's worked a treat. A friend mentioned an APP that I could use on my phone which makes it so much easier.
I'm exactly 29 days a cycle and I know from my discharge (TMI soz) that I'm ovulating. We are VERY careful for about 5-6 days before I ovulate and then for about 2 days after and it seems to be so easy.

My question is...Am I really dicing with danger doing this?

The ob/gyn doc I was working with the other day said I was. Confused

We have 2 DD's and really don't want any more. Does anyone else rely on a similar method?

OP posts:
clam · 09/07/2012 14:20

Well, I did. And cocked up. So I don't anymore!

TettyLouBar · 09/07/2012 14:24

How did it cock up Clam?

OP posts:
Groovee · 09/07/2012 14:28

Isn't that the Rhythm method? Wouldn't work for me. I go 21-50 days on a cycle. My friend who is Catholic has got pregnant 3 times on this method.

clam · 09/07/2012 14:30

Well, probably wasn't as exact as you with apps and dates and so on. The inevitable happened. Would rather not go into it further actually but my cock-up doesn't mean yours will.

clam · 09/07/2012 14:31

And it probably seems easy because you've got away with it!

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay · 09/07/2012 14:34

What do you mean by 'very careful', that probably affects big time how much of a risk you are taking. Do you mean no sex at all in that period.

It's better than nothing, but personally I would only consider it as contraception if I was in the 'ooh, do we want another or not, let fate have a hand' camp. Or if it was about family spacing. If another pregnancy is a real no no you need something more reliable.

jeee · 09/07/2012 14:34

Err, yes. I used that method.... DD is now 11.

It's fine, if you don't mind getting pregnant.

Condover · 09/07/2012 14:41

I do, but it wouldn't be a disaster if we had another baby and am very much in the "'ooh, do we want another or not, let fate have a hand' camp" Smile

TettyLouBar · 09/07/2012 15:26

Thanks for that clam. Sorry to be nosey.

We are quite definite that we don't want any more, so your posts have given me something to think about.


We pretty much abstain during the danger zone youlllaugh, but there are the odd occasions when we don't.

Is there anyone out there that has done this for years with success?? there doesn't seem to be Confused

OP posts:
PropositionJoe · 09/07/2012 15:32

Er no. There isn't! Get some contraception.

TettyLouBar · 09/07/2012 15:35

Grin joe

OP posts:
timetosmile · 09/07/2012 15:37

It worked for us for 3 years before we had (planned!) DC1.

The stats show that used PREFECTLY, as opposed to 'but there are the odd occasions when we don't.' its 94%-99% successful.

There are natural family planning experts and teachers who can be a real help - try via your local FPC.

fwiw 'pretty much abstain during the danger zone' sounds like an ineffective method of contraception!

MysteriousHamster · 09/07/2012 15:42

I think 'pretty much abstaining' is madness if you definitely don't want another. If you're going to get carried away then this method won't work in the long run. And even if you are very careful, chances are you might get it wrong. My cycles are fairly regular but I know from charting that I can ovulate from day 10 to day 16. If I was having sex early on a day 10 cycle I could potentially get pregnant while still on my period! It doesn't leave much of the month left to have fun, either.

timetosmile · 09/07/2012 15:45

perfectly.... contraceptives used 'prefectly' sound a bit St Trinians-esque Confused

CaseyShraeger · 09/07/2012 15:57

In between children, yes (but I have very regular cycles and always ovulated on day 18 or 19), with great success. I wouldn't rely on it now that we are definitely totally 100% Done, though. Apart from anything else, I know that as I get older my cycles may well become more flaky and it would be easy to get caught out.

CakesnKids · 09/07/2012 16:02

We did, I was exact, new my dates etc. We now have dd1 and 15 months later dd2 came along! We still use the method, (although not as exact what's the point!) But if dc3 came along it wouldn't be the end of the world.

kalidasa · 09/07/2012 16:46

Are you taking your temperature every morning, or just counting days and checking cervical fluid? I used the "fertility awareness method" (daily temps, cervical fluid observation etc) as contraception for years with no probs, despite a v. irregular cycle. But I was very careful with it and learnt the method thoroughly before using it. We didn't abstain at the fertile time but used condoms for the first half of cycle and ditched them once I was sure I had ovulated.

If you are not taking your temp the risk is that one month you will 'gear up' to ovulation (so you'll see the fertile fluid etc) but then not actually ovulate and do so a bit later on. Some women often do this (I do) others hardly ever but either way cervical fluid cannot confirm that ovulation has happened - only daily temps can do that.

Just doing calendar/cervical fluid obs is a lot better than nothing, especially if you have a history of regular cycles, but it only takes one funny cycle to be caught out.

There is a lot of misinformation out there. An awful lot of people who are otherwise well informed (including doctors, nurses etc) think that any natural method is simply the 'rhythm method' and therefore unreliable, which isn't true. Get hold of the book 'taking charge of your fertility' for more info.

CaseyShraeger · 09/07/2012 17:11

kalidasa, how do you manage to take your temperature at the same time every morning and immediately after waking from at least three hours of unbroken sleep when you have small children? Genuine question; I know people do seem to manage to temp successfully when they have babies/toddlers but I've always wondered how and never had what seemed like the right moment to ask...

snickers251 · 09/07/2012 17:18

We did it for a year after was born as was planning to start ttc after a year it worked for us but we didn't mind the risk of falling pg before xx

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay · 09/07/2012 18:29

"We pretty much abstain"=we have unprotected sex at just the time people do when they are trying for a baby. You do know that don't you? Grin

TettyLouBar · 09/07/2012 19:33

Sorry peeps, I can see I may have mislead you all,
When I said "we pretty much abstain"...I meant we don't have sex at all. But during my fertile period, if we did have sex, of course we use condoms. Sorry I thought that would have been clear from what I wrote. Confused I'm not THAT daft!

Thank you Kalidasa for your comments. I too am interested in the temperature monitoring and how you manage the same time every morning? I may well look into it more from what info you provided, Thanks Grin

OP posts:
kalidasa · 09/07/2012 19:35

I don't have a baby yet (am pregnant)! I agree it must be tricky. Actually because I have charted for years I know quite well what I can "get away with" in terms of a sleepless/disturbed night and for me personally quite a lot of disturbance doesn't shift my temperature too much - it's only really a completely sleepless night or being up for a long time that does that. But I know that from years of charting. I'm not sure what we'll do after the baby arrives. It's been such a nightmare pregnancy anyway (severe hyperemesis) that I feel very nervous about the whole contraception question.

TettyLouBar · 09/07/2012 19:50

Congratulations Kalidasa Smile Hope the hyperemisis has settled somewhat now.
Do you use a basal thermometer? Ive read there are specific ones you can buy?

OP posts:
mummysmellsofsick · 09/07/2012 19:59

We used persona for a few years to not get pregnant and then used it when ttc to figure out when to get pregnant. It worked perfectly for us. Not sure what we'll do next as my cycles haven't returned yet due to bf. I imagine persona can't help for a while until things get regular again after childbirth

PropositionJoe · 09/07/2012 21:56

Ah, ok. I don't think I was the only one that understood you were using nothing at fertile times!

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