Birth Control

Controlling Birth: A Quest to Understand “Birth Control” – Part III Pregnancy Preventions

Part III: Pregnancy Preventions

The fantastic thing about pregnancy preventions is that they are less complicated (in my opinion).  There are no foreign chemicals or substances pervasively intruding your body which make these methods far less convoluted.  Plus, they don’t mess with the process of procreation nearly as intrusively.

The short list of barrier methods are: condoms (male or female), cervical cap, the diaphragm, the sponge, and the cervical shield.  I really would like to spare you the boredom so I will only discuss the two methods I’ve heard about the most, and the ones I may or may not have personal experience using.

The male condom:  I really don’t need to explain how it works.  It is cheap, widely available, simple, user friendly.  Need I say more?

The Diaphragm:  This one is a little trickier.  It is a latex cup that is inserted to cover the cervix.  Spermicide is used inside the cup.  I won’t go into too many details regarding how to use is.  But, in my opinion it is much better than condoms.  You only need to buy one and it should be less than $60 and lasts for two years.  Check out this women’s health site again for more information.

How do these two methods work?  Plain and simple.  Prevents the sperm from reaching the egg!

(Some people may have allergies to spermicide (the only chemical used in these methods) or to latex, so in that case NFP is the way to go.)

Natural Family Planning (NFP):  There are so many websites out there, not to mention books like Taking Charge of Your Fertility that I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this one either.  For women to be successful at using NFP, they need to be regular, disciplined, and in tune with their bodies.  You’d watch things like changes in cervical mucus, monitoring daily temperatures, and counting days and length of cycles.  I have never been blessed with regular cycles so it would be a lot harder for me to do this.  But, if you learn the methods they basically function by knowing when you are fertile so you can either use a barrier when you are fertile or abstain (thus preventing pregnancy).  These methods also work wonderfully, I’ve heard, when one is trying to conceive.

The most liberating thing in my mind about these methods are the fact that if they fail, you become pregnant, and will likely find out about it in the coming weeks!  I don’t have to be worried about the possibility that my birth control might be messing with a life in my womb.  That is just liberating to me!

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4 thoughts on “Controlling Birth: A Quest to Understand “Birth Control” – Part III Pregnancy Preventions”

  1. Hi Jessica,

    I’m reading your blog and really enjoying it! I’ve read all the posts up to this one and thought I’d finally leave a comment. 🙂 I just wanted to say that it is actually not true that you have to have regular cycles to practice NFP – I think you’ll read about this in that book you just bought but the “regular cycle” myth is based on an old system that was not scientific at all. The truth is that every woman’s cycle is different and in fact almost every cycle in an individual woman is different – so my cycles vary from 28 days to almost over 40! Factors such as stress, nutrition, sleep, travel etc can affect your cycle by delaying ovulation but that is healthy and normal – the reason is actually because your body “decides” to delay ovulation if it feels like pregnancy wouldn’t be a good thing at the time, I.e. if its interpreting something as stress! But all of this can be predicted and pretty easily charted once you learn what to look for. The method we use is a bit different than the one in the taking charge of your fertility book but still, the point is that every cycle can be managed and that your body gives you all the clues you need for determining your fertility. It’s truly amazing!

    1. Yes Ruth! You are right and I actually do know that now. I was the CLASSIC example of someone believing one of the many myths about NFP!
      Thanks for your comment and for reading!

      I’d also be curious about whatever method you are using and how it differs from the viewpoint in the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

      1. The method we were taught and basically use is called the Creighton Model. We were taught by an instructor and it is basically similar to the viewpoint in the book, but it only takes cervical fluid into account. I like the way it handles the cervical fluid better than the way the book does simply because there are more ways of labeling the fluid – in the book (from what I can tell) you are only given three different ways of labeling the fluid (I think they are like pasty, creamy, and eggwhite or something like that), but the problem with that is that it leaves a lot of room for your own interpretation of what kind of mucus you have and therefore a lot of room for error! So the Creighton Method is a mucus-only method and there are many different categories of types of cervical fluid so basically you do not have to guess on anything. The charting is different and some of the rules regarding timelines (like how many days to wait past ovulation, etc) are a bit different, but for the most part it is the same except the category system for the cervical mucus is a lot more specific and straight-foward. The way the book explains the mucus is confusing in my opinion.

        Also, it is incredibly systematic and has basically a “code” for charting using different numbers so that anyone who is trained in Creighton around the world can take a 2 second look at your chart and know exactly what kind of cervical fluid you were having. And there are many doctors who are specifically trained in Creighton and can offer lots of medical help and opinions regarding infertility etc (anything that would actually require medical help).

        So I really prefer the way that Creighton classifies the cervical fluid a lot better. That said, we were not taught anything about the temperature and I have just started doing that, which I learned from the book – I find that INCREDIBLY helpful in determining when for certain ovulation occurred, etc. (when you are charting mucus only you have to wait at least three days after ovulation before you even know that it occurred, which is frustrating.) I wish I had known about the temperature before but what can you do.

        Here is the website for the method we primarily use. I have not really looked at this website at all, I just randomly found it…. someone from our church introduced us to Creighton and taught us. But there might be something helpful on here, who knows!

        http://www.creightonmodel.com/

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