- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
Hi, *warning: long post*
Hi, *warning: long post*
@Ellejames: Get ahold of the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Wechsler. It’s a really wonderful, comprehensive resource that will help get you started.
There are also classes you can take, and counselors you can meet with, if you feel like you want some in-person assistance with the process. The book, though, is your go-to resource for learning the basics of charting.
@Ellejames: I agree with using TCOYF by Wesschler. However, bear in mind the failure rate is a bit higher than with the Pill.
So long as you okay with the slightly higher error rate, NFP is great. I loved knowing so much more about my body and my cycles. Plus, the hormones in the Pill made me nauseas and prone to mood swings so I liked being off the Pill.
I only went back on the Pill after an early O date and an unintended pregnancy. We weren’t financially or emotionally ready for a child so I went back on the Pill.
I highly recommend the free software and boards on Fertility Friend online. The online software comes with free online classes on how to temp and read charts. Plus, you can ask other ladies on the boards to interpret your charts until you get the hang of it.
@Ellejames: You might check with the Catholic diocese in your area (even if you’re not Catholic). The Catholic Church actively promotes NFP as a morally acceptable way for its members to control their childbearing, and most dioceses have NFP classes that they offer or they will at least be able to put you in touch with an organization that offers them.
(You might already know this, but NFP and FAM are essentially the same except that the FAM approach is to use an additional form of contraception during the fertile window, while practitioners of NFP abstain during that time.)
One other recommendation, if your husband is cool with it: get him involved in the charting process. My Darling Husband was skeptical about the whole thing at first, but agreed to give it a try because I wanted to do it. He is better than I am at getting up consistently, so we keep the thermometer and the folder with our charts on his side of the bed. When the alarm goes off, he hands me the thermometer, and he takes care of jotting down the numbers. After a few months of doing it, he got to where he could look at the chart and spot that, “Hey, tonight is a good night to try,” or “Your period is probably going to come today or tomorrow.” And it was really awesome when we conceived. We both knew something might be up when I was late … I think, too, it’s really helped him to be more involved in looking into childbirth options and how he can play a role in that. It’s made the whole thing much more of a common project – “our thing” instead of just “my thing.” I love the fact that he’s not all weirded out by it and he’s that comfortable with my biology. I’m sure that for some men that could be way outside their comfort zone – but give it a chance, you never know!
Going from the birth control pill to NFP was one of the best decisions I ever made. I hated the way I felt on the pill! I agree with previous posts about buying the book and getting the Fertility Friend app. It makes it super easy to learn. You’ll probably want to use condoms for a little while until your cycles regulate and you start to understand them. Another upside is that when you all do decide to TTC, you will most likely get pregnant much quicker! 🙂
I’ve been doing FAM for a year and a half after 8 years of birth control, and I’m very happy with my decision! Read Taking Charge of Your Fertility, get yourself a thermometer, and start charting!
We still use barrier methods on my non-fertile days, just because we really don’t want an accident. And if we decide to risk it on a fertile day, we’ll also use spermicide and probably pull-out. Because we realllllly don’t want an accident.
I’m so happy to not be adding hormones to my body anymore and letting everything regulate itself. I’ve learned so much about how my own body works and am able to recognize all the signs throughout my cycle.
Congrats and good luck!
@Ellejames: AS for how to go off, the best way is to finish the pack of pills you are currently taking and have your period. Stopping in the middle of a pack can throw off your cycles. Make sure to use a backup method such as a condom, diaphragm, or spermicide for the first few cycles until your O date falls around a regular date. Make sure to chart your cervical mucus and other fertility signs on top of temping because they help make charting your O more accurate.
I agree with above….TCOYF by Wesschler is awesome!
I just finished out a pill pack, then didn’t start the next one. Hubs and I used POM for awhile until my cycles normalized. We figured that was fine because we would have been happy with an “oops” baby, but would have preferred to wait. No accidents, and we used NFP for 2 years only with no BFP! And now it is time to TTC 🙂
It took about 3 months for my cycles to “normalize” so you def want to use a backup method. I temped and used cheapy OPKs while I was getting the hang of NFP, but now I pretty much can tell from CM and then use OPKs around then. I coudn’t do temping long term because my sleep schedule is just too erratic.
@Ellejames: You sound just like me! I was in the BCP for only a year too. I was doing ok for the first few months, and then I realized my blood pressure was getting higher than what my normal range used to be. It wasn’t anything dramatic, but I could notice the difference, and one good day I told Darling Husband, I am going to try this the natural way, that’s when I turned into FAM and I read the book TCOYF by Wesschler and it was very helpful. Also, coming here and dasking questions has been a tremendous help. I chart every day and we plan to TTC soon. So far so good…no pregnancies, but you do need a lot of discipline though and make sure to talk to your Darling Husband. I actually talked to Darling Husband and he is contemplating the idea of doing a vasectomy after we have children. That way I don’t have to be doing this my entire fertile years. 😉 Good luck!
Wow, thank you all for the help! (I just got home from work…wish I could have been replying to each of you individually)
I was JUST like you about 6 months ago, and we made the switch! TCOYF is great, but we also took a class through the Couple to Couple League (ccli.org), which made us SO much more confident in the method and our understanding of it. If they don’t have a class in your area, you can order their materials and teach yourself from home (and still have access to people that can help you interpret your charts if you have trouble).
Going of the BCP has been frustrating… we use the sympto-thermal method (the one taught by TCOYF and CCL), but my CM still hasn’t established a clear pattern. The BCP really messes with it. My first few cycles were totally random as well (really short or really long). It’s definitely harder to learn NFP coming off the Pill than it would be if you had never been on the Pill, but definitely not impossible. Just be prepared for it to be a little difficult. I definitely wouldn’t switch back though!
Every woman is different, but for me, going off the Pill made me get a bunch of acne and lose 5 pounds (I’m pretty sure they were all in the chest area though, unfortunately! haha). I’m still having to deal with the acne at certain points in each cycle. Charting and constantly checking CM and cervical position is a little annoying, but it is nice to know what’s going on with your body. I can always predict when my period will come to the day, which is convenient.
Please feel free to PM me if you have other questions!
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