FAM as birth control? Advice and experiences please!

posted 6 months ago in Wellness
Post # 16
419 posts
Helper bee

I don’t know why you would give up on hormonal birth control after trying only 2 brands. I had to try 3 different BC pills before I found one that didn’t cause any side effects. There are hundreds of formulas out there, and each one affects every woman differently. Just because you responded badly to 2 of them doesn’t mean you’ll respond badly to all of them.

Both of the pills you tried are triphasics, which means you get varying amounts of hormones throughout the month. Triphasics are more likely to cause side effects as a result of fluctuating hormones. I strongly recommend trying a monophasic BC before you give up entirely. Monophasic pills keep your hormone levels consistent throughout the month, so you’re less likely to have side effects. More info here: https://www.verywellhealth.com/types-of-combination-pills-906935

Post # 17
411 posts
Helper bee

I’ve never done hormonal bc, partially because of all the possible side effects. The various risks of acne, mood swings, weight gain, etc to me outweigh the risk of having a baby a little sooner than planned. While you COULD try other pills, you COULD also give your body/hormones a break and go a more natural route. It’s up to personal preference. 

We used FAM and condoms for just shy of two years with no close calls, even! Then the first month of kinda trying/not preventing, ended up with a big ol’ positive! 

I used a basal thermometer from Walmart (under $15) and the free version of the Fertility Friend app. The app made all the difference in actually understanding how to interpret the temps and signs of ovulation, stages in the cycle, etc! I partially credit the app with our ability to get pregnant so quickly because I could see the ovulation date pattern, see the temperature pattern, and time things accordingly!

Taking my temp every morning wasn’t quite as tedious as it sounds. I’d take it when my husband’s alarm went off at 6:00, then go back to sleep and enter the temp when I actually got up. 

Hope that helps! I’m by no means an expert, but I have some experience, so…

Post # 18
716 posts
Busy bee

We are currently doing NFP and withdrawal for birth control before we TTC later this year or early next year. I’m on my first full cycle using the Ava bracelet and we use withdrawal method on top of it. The plan originally was to be abstinent during my fertile days but ooops that didn’t work out this cycle 😂. I love Being hormone free  but it’s definiely more risk and requires a lot of self control. We both hate condoms so that was just never an option and we are kinda at a point now where if we have an ooops it just speeds our timeline up a few months, really not that big of a deal for us and that’s pretty much the only reason we are okay not using condoms  during fertile days. I did read TCOYF and strongly recommend it for anyone taking up temping. I also enter my Ava temps into fertility friend by adding one degree (Fahrenheit) for a second chart. ETA: oral contraception isn’t a thing I can use anymore. Both the combined pill and mini pill give me migraines with aura. my IUD expired and I didn’t want to replace for less than a year usage so here we are 🤷🏻‍♀️

Post # 19
9615 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

Hey bee!

First of all, I was almost in your exact situation, but reversed. I loved my Tri Nessa but they made me switch to the mini pill and I hated it. In the past, I had a bad reaction with an IUD, so those were out. So, I did my research and opted for FAM. We have been using FAM successfully to avoid for now 7 months (I know, it’s not long in the grand scheme of the 10+ years I was on the pill, but)-

A few things to be successful:

I know people have probably said this 1,000,000 times, but read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility.” It taught me so much about my body that I never learned in health class, or even advanced anatomy and biology courses.

Next, you need to use back up protection like a condom for at least the first 3 cycles so you can have a somewhat accurate prediction of when your fertile window will be.

Be consistent with temping (aka, get enough sleep and do it immediately upon waking). I recommend temping vaginally (you may sleep with your mouth open which will give an inaccurate temp). If you have a FitBit or the like, I recommend also recording your resting heart rate as this can give you clues along wtih temp.

You have to be able to communicate with your partner and let him know to use back up protection if you don’t abstain when you have signs of being fertile. 

And finally, enjoy getting to know your body! I feel so in tune with myself. I’ve also noticed a huge improvement in my mood since stopping hormonal birth control. And- some underlying PCOS issues that were masked by BCPs came to light, so now I’m trying to “repair” my cycle. Temping even allowed me to figure out that I have some annovulatory cycles – so I know all of this information will be helpful for myself and my doctor, when we do start TTC.

Best of luck on your journey!



Post # 20
1457 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

futuremrss17 :  I had a cheap amazon thermometer originally (I think $15). All of these thermometers take a long time to read. I wished I had one with a backlight to actually see the numbers when it was dark in the room (I was temping to chart TTC). I did get fed up with having to temp at exactly the same time every day after 4+ continuous hours of sleep… so I ended up getting the Ava bracelet and haven’t been happier. But obviously it’s expensive and probably not worth starting with.

Post # 21
637 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

futuremrss17 :  I have not been on hormonal birth control in 10 years. I am about to have my 4th child and all my kids were spaced out 3+ years apart just by monitoring my cervical mucous. If I noticed fertile mucus we didn’t have sex and that was it. Not fool proof but knowing your body does work. After this baby I am going to invest in either the daisy or something similar to track my temp and log it to know for sure in addition to tracking natural hormonal changes in my body. I hate the risks of hormonal birth control, the side effects, and how it makes me feel. They were pushing for tubal ligation because I’m having another csection but that’s so unnatural and the side effects of that are also very real. I would never have my husband get a vasectomg because that’s bad for his body. So, its condoms and being aware of your body basically. I think it is great that you are taking charge of your body and fertility and getting off hormonal bc.

Post # 22
6539 posts
Bee Keeper

 ukbea :  If you read Planned Parenthood’s entire post it stated “also called” but recommended checking CM and temping in addition to tracking actual cycle lengths, so not really the old rhythm method. 

Post # 24
675 posts
Busy bee

futuremrss17 :  we successfully used the pull out method for over 11 years and got pregnant the first month we started trying (ended in MC and had another MC after before conceiving our son). I did start tracking my cycles using FAM while gearing up to TTC so I knew more about my cycles and when I O.

I highly recommend doing that but you should use backup birth control while you figure out your cycles. For us the pull out method worked but if you want more protection then condoms or other non hormonal bc will work. 

I used a digital basal thermometer along with the fertility friend app.

Also,  I HIGHLY recommend reading Taking Care of Your Fertility, you will learn a lot about your body and menstrual cycles. 

Post # 25
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

 I absolutely echo what iffanybruiser  said about using condoms for a few cycles while yoi learn your body.

I tracked using the Ovia app (free!) and Opks from Amazon. I grew to know so much about my body and felt really empowered. We were in the same position as you where the timing would be better down the road but was ok if we got pregnant, which is key since it’s not failproof. 

When you’re ready, I highly recommend an IUD. I had Mirenas for 11 years and will be going back to them once we’re done having kids. 

Post # 26
828 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

futuremrss17 :  I use the Creighton model of NFP, and have since my son was born 13 months ago. It works really well if you follow the rules and/or use backup like condoms. +10000 on reading TCOYF. Also just know that temping only confirms ovulation, so unless you want to only have sex/notnuse condoms after O I suggest you also check your cervical mucus. You can see the buildup to O and know when to start abstaining/using protection. 

Post # 28
637 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

futuremrss17 :  that is scary AF. I had the paragard copper IUD a long time ago after trying the pill and nexplanon a long long time ago and I have never been in such excruciating pain and non stop bleeding. It was horrendous. 

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