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NFP is for me

sex, sex after kids, marriage

“The BVTMB is getting real this week about a sometimes taboo, but important topic…S-E-X!  Our team is sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly…and maybe the humorous and kinky too… about sex after kids in hopes that some of you can relate.”

nfp

In our family we practice Natural Family Planning or NFP.

I find this is commonly used to conceive but it can also be used as a natural form of spacing your children.  I was on birth control for approximately half a decade and during that time I had no idea what my body was doing. Since stopping birth control to prepare my body to conceive, I learned SO MUCH. I have chosen not to go back on artificial contraception for personal and religious reasons as I’ve grown in my faith and in understanding my own womanhood. I feel more healthy, in touch with my feminine nature, and have come to find a great appreciation in my body’s reproductive abilities.

The first thing I noticed when I stopped taking BCP (birth control pills) was a huge increase in libido! Because I was going through my natural cycle of ovulation I could tell when my body was saying “HEY! If you tried, you could totally get pregnant right now!“. This is definitely an indicator symptom for me of a fertile period. Another indicator I have is Mittelschmerz or “Middle pain” . Mittelschmerz is one-sided, lower abdominal pain in women. It occurs at or around the time of an egg is released from the ovaries (ovulation). I never noticed this before starting NFP but I feel it almost monthly now.

Two other factors that weren’t so obvious were fluctuations in basal temperature and mucous production. Tracking these two indicators really helped me to plot my cycle more precisely and show me fertile and infertile periods.

nfp

There are several methods of NFP but most of them rely heavily on finding your peak cycle day (Peak day is the highest statistically likely day of ovulation) and the observation of your changing fertile cervical mucus. Depending on if you are trying to conceive or not, you can plan to have lots of sex during your fertile cycle or none. Because NFP requires you to make routine observations about your body, you will find you will become very in tune with your cycle. 

famiy_planning_ovulation_peak_day_2

famiy_planning_ovulation_cycles Cycle length does not affect NFP effectiveness

This is just the tip of the iceberg! There are many more details that go into NFP (hormone levels, using ovulation strips, etc). Below are several methods of practicing  NFP and their requirements.

Billings Ovulation Method – Mucus-only 

Creighton Method (CrMS) – Mucus-only, help for infertile women  

Couple-to-Couple League (CCL) – Sympto-thermal method
SymptoPro by Northwest Family Services – offers an online course
Marquette Method – Sympto-thermal method, includes Clearblue Easy monitor  (has greater than 99% effectiveness, similar to oral contraceptives)
 
http://americanpregnancy.org/preventing-pregnancy/natural-family-planning/
I also use an app on my phone to help me keep track of my symptoms, temperatures and the start and stop of my menstrual cycle. The app I use is OvuView for Android. There are many many apps available both free and paid.

Here are a few highly rated apps:

ovuview

OvuView

Lastly, here are some quotes from real moms who are actively using NFP:

“It helped us conceive our son because we knew when I was supposed to ovulate. NFP also helps us keep from miscarrying because I need to take progesterone right away to help support a pregnancy, and since I know pretty much exactly when I ovulate I can know sooner that I’m pregnant.” J, mother of 2
“It works because it brings me closer to my husband and keeps our relationship sacred. It’s not just an opportunity for sex: NFP builds longing, creates a slow burn that isn’t easily extinguished, and gives me the ability to share with my husband. We have used it to achieve and avoid pregnancy, and I couldn’t imagine life without it!” L, mother of 4
I was amazed at how much I learned about my cycle and my body through NFP. I was hesitant to try this method at first because I wasn’t sure how effective it would be, but we have been surprised at how well it works. M, mother of 2

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