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Thread: Charting/FAM as birth control?

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    #1

    Charting/FAM as birth control?

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    Ok, so does anyone chart or practice FAM as a method of birth control?

    I have read Taking Charge of Your Fertility (as has DH, or at least the bookmarked sections I noted for him) and we're on board. We're hoping to start trying for a baby in September of this year, and after hearing a rather alarming story on NPR about the NuvaRing (my previous method of birth control) we both decided we'd be more comfortable with me off of it. Plus, this way, my cycles will have become regular and we'll hopefully be able to quickly conceive when we want to.

    Obviously, I would never use this form of birth control in a non-monogomous relationship, nor would I do so if I weren't totally ok with an oops baby. Still, we'll be actively avoiding pregnancy until September or so because then I will be completely done with grad classes before having the baby.

    I've started charting and I also have an app on my phone (more for laziness in the morning than anything--I record my BBT in the app and go back to sleep, and then chart everything later. It also makes me feel better to have a "back up" of my data, lol). My only questions that aren't really addressed specifically in the book pertain to how to transition to this method coming off birth control. I finished my last ring and didn't put in another two days ago (as in, if I were still on the ring, I should've put one in on Friday morning) and I'm assuming the rules still apply the same way but I thought it'd be good to ask and double check.

    If you're charting for birth control (or for conception, since that'll be us soon too!) tell me about it!
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    #2
    I have charted for conception, which is basically the same thing except you do it at opposite times. The charting itself is the same though. It definitely helped me to get to know my body, and my cycles, and figure out when I was fertile and when I wasn't. I would definitely recommend still using condoms for at least a few months while you get used to it, each month can vary and so giving yourself time to learn is going to give you the greatest chance of success and learning your OWN bodies patterns.


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    I've been using FAM since I got married (well, not for the year that DH was deployed, obviously!), and it's worked for us. We avoided for the 6 months before deployment, avoided for two months after deployment, tried for three months, and then got pregnant. My cycles came back pretty early after having DD despite breastfeeding, so we've been using it to avoid since then.

    I've been really happy with it so far--we started out using Sympto-Thermal (temperature + mucus observations), and then switched to Marquette, which uses a ClearBlue fertility monitor. I also use an app (Period Tracker) to chart, and I really like having that.

    I know there isn't necessarily a specific protocol for coming off NuvaRing in the book, but you might look around online. It might also be similar to a return of fertility after birth, so you could see what advice they give for that (it's been a few years since I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility). It does get a little frustrating when things are getting back to normal! Do you check your mucus at all? Sometimes that can be a really helpful confirmation if you aren't getting clear signs from your temperature.

    Let me know if you have any more questions! I'm not an expert, but I can also ask my sisters, all of whom have been using some form of FAM for years longer than I have! Good luck with it--DH and I have been quite happy with FAM as birth control and getting pregnant.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinderbelly View Post
    I have charted for conception, which is basically the same thing except you do it at opposite times. The charting itself is the same though. It definitely helped me to get to know my body, and my cycles, and figure out when I was fertile and when I wasn't. I would definitely recommend still using condoms for at least a few months while you get used to it, each month can vary and so giving yourself time to learn is going to give you the greatest chance of success and learning your OWN bodies patterns.
    Yeah, we're using condoms for the majority of my cycle and only NOT using them after we have clear signs that I've ovulated and I'm "in the clear" so to speak. I'm still looking around for the best condom, because neither of us like them a whole lot. We don't need them for STI prevention, so I'm looking into non-latex to see if that's any better.

    Quote Originally Posted by freelancer_tex View Post
    I've been using FAM since I got married (well, not for the year that DH was deployed, obviously!), and it's worked for us. We avoided for the 6 months before deployment, avoided for two months after deployment, tried for three months, and then got pregnant. My cycles came back pretty early after having DD despite breastfeeding, so we've been using it to avoid since then.

    I've been really happy with it so far--we started out using Sympto-Thermal (temperature + mucus observations), and then switched to Marquette, which uses a ClearBlue fertility monitor. I also use an app (Period Tracker) to chart, and I really like having that.

    I know there isn't necessarily a specific protocol for coming off NuvaRing in the book, but you might look around online. It might also be similar to a return of fertility after birth, so you could see what advice they give for that (it's been a few years since I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility). It does get a little frustrating when things are getting back to normal! Do you check your mucus at all? Sometimes that can be a really helpful confirmation if you aren't getting clear signs from your temperature.

    Let me know if you have any more questions! I'm not an expert, but I can also ask my sisters, all of whom have been using some form of FAM for years longer than I have! Good luck with it--DH and I have been quite happy with FAM as birth control and getting pregnant.
    How does using the ClearBlue fertility monitor work? So far I'm just using the sympto-thermal method too, including the cervical fluid and position of the cervix. My body naturally wakes up at the same time every day, so that's easy, and I've only had one beer since starting, for fear of the alcohol making my temperature readings wonky. We will be traveling to the east coast in a few weeks for a weekend away, so that'll also be somewhat frustrating (I am not sure how my body responds to taking my temperature earlier/later) but we're being super conservative.
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    #5
    I use FF for charting. I've been charting for over 10 years, and primarily used FAM as a form of BC. I don't particularly care for hormonal BC.
    Pax, Aeon

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