Post # 1
If you are doing NFP, which method do you use? And did you have to try multiple methods until you found one that worked for you?
I’ve been looking at the basal body temp method, but it says some people’s temperatures might not change throughout the month and it might be difficult to predict which days are your most fertile. Is that the method most commonly used?
Post # 3
I used the Sympto-Thermal method. It’s very popular right now, both within and outside the church, so there’s a lot of information and sources you can look into. It combines the basal body temping with cervical mucus and cervix position checks, so it’s more accurate than just temping alone. I chose the STM because I found the most resources for learning it independently, as opposed to through an instructor. In my area, there are no NFP classes/instructors available, so I wanted something that I could basically teach myself. I also feel like the combining of these three symptoms of ovulation is more accurate than other methods (personal opinion here).
For more information on the sympto-thermal method, check out the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It’s a non-religious explanation of how the method works. For a religious alternative, the Couple-to-Couple League also has a book out, The Art of Natural Family Planning. I also found the website, http://www.fertilityfriend.com very helpful in charting and looking up information (it’s also free). Finally, if your church or another local organization offers NFP classes, I think it might be really helpful to check them out. Usually instructors are availabale outside of class times for questions and one-on-one help. Good luck!
Post # 4
I have learned sympto thermal as well. Mrs. Spring pretty much said it all, but I second reading the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
Post # 5
Oh this is great information! This is something that I am starting to look into. How long does it take to get a grasp of your cycle?
Post # 6
We’re on our third cycle using sympto-thermal, and by the second chart I was really understanding how things were working. We still double check if we’re not sure, but there are essentially 4 key rules to follow for fertile vs. unfertile days. Taking Charge of Your Fertility is the best book to use. It’s nice because it also addresses using sympto-thermal to get pregnant when the time comes as well as modeling charts with various anomalies and consistencies/inconsistencies.
Use the search function here on the blogs and type in natural family planning or nfp and you’ll get tons of results. We’ve got a lot of good advice here.
Congrats and welcome to natural birth control!
Post # 7
I’m on my sixth cycle. Temperature was the easiest part to get down. My alarm goes off at 6 every morning, I stick in the thermometer, wait for it to finish beeping, then go back to sleep. It took a cycle or two to really understand the differences with regards to cervical mucus specifically the sensation aspect. I’m still working on the cervix sign, although I feel much better about it then I did at first.
Each time I get to the end of cycle I get a little excited to start all over again, just because I feel a little more confident (a little dorky I know). Plus now I always know when my period is going to start, which is awesome!
Post # 8
Here’s Too Much Information, but ok:
I am not religious, I just can’t handle being on birth control, it makes me crazy. For about 2 years now, we have been using what is known in Indiana as the “pull n pray method” (he does not ejaculate inside me). We also abstain when I might be ovulating, until day 10 of my cycle. The 1st day of my period is day 1 of the cycle.
Post # 9
I really want to try STM and I have heard really good things about Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
@hoosierbee: I would rather be safe and know what’s going on for sure instead of hoping.
Post # 10
@ joeswaffle – It took me two or three cycles to really understand the method. Of course, I had already been off hormonal bc for 6 months or so at the time. If you are coming off of bc at the same time you start NFP, it might take a few more cycles as your body is still regulating.
Also, fwiw, I agree that STM is very helpful in conceiving. We got pregnant our first month trying, and I attribute that mostly to charting. 🙂
Post # 11
I tried the thermometer/mucous method and within 4 cycles I failed NFP birth control-hee hee -I now have a 26 year old son! But he’s the greatest! Apparently, my cycle is quite long and I ovulated near the end of the cycle-and if I hadn’t conceived, my cycle would have had a double peak.–Good Luck–Oh yeah-I’m a product of the original Catholic NFP cycle!! If that tells you anything about what I think about the “Catholic methods”–but then my daughter was conceived using BC-which my OB-GYN said that I was only the 2nd one that conceived with that BC method in his practice. (The 2% the method doesn’t work for). Don’t know what BC method my daughter was using-but she also conceived while on BC-so other methods apparently don’t work for us fertile myrtles. 🙂 It’s nice to have a plan, but if it doesn’t work out-it will be okay-we have the greatest 2 kids in the universe, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything! In hindsite: If you conceive, don’t spend too much time worrying–enjoy it instead, there’s not really anything IMO that’s better in life than having children and raising them to be wonderful adults-no matter what you’ve got planned! 🙂
Post # 12
I’ve been using NFP for almost fifteen cycles. I don’t use STM, I keep track of other signals. I’ll probably try out STM when I’m married and would like to get a more accurate idea of my unsafe window. At this point it’s easier for me to look at the general signs (discharge, position of cervix, breasts, cycle length, etc.) and give the ovulation period a wide berth. So far so good. 🙂
Post # 13
we’ve been using the withdrawl method for almost a year now. I was hoping to go with the STM but my cycle is still very out of whack .. I’m thinking from going off of HBC last april. Once things start to even out I’ll invest in learning the STM just for the benefits of knowing my body and my cycle, but we’ll probably still just stick with withdrawl. I know it’s not the best, but it’s okay with us if there are surprises.
Also, just wanted to put it out there that we are not religious either, this is just what works for us.
Post # 14
@what2bee: My sister and I had serious issues resulting from taking bc, periods were crazy for 12-18 mo after we were on it/stopped taking it.
Since then I’ve become Catholic, and I’ve read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and The Art of Natural Family Planning(be careful about this book it’s VERY religious) and they are wonderful! My cycles have always been a little different, but I’m definitely seeing patterns! I suggest just checking those books out of your library, perusing/reading them and just starting with temperature charting and then moving to cervical mucous, and then cervix position..which is what I’ve done. I use femilia.com to chart.
If you still notice your periods are crazy after charting–see a dr it could be symptomatic of something else (hypothyroidism, pcos, endomentriosis, certain deficiencies).. I have hypothyroidism.
Post # 15
The reason I chose STM – is because it seems to be the most “thorough” of all the methods. It basically encompasses ALL the signs 🙂 The more signs to see the better, imho.
To be clear, on [email protected]s post, she mentions that she was conceived on the “catholic” method…. She was conceived on the “calendar” method which was the only NFP back then… Catholics can use any “natural” way of reading their signs to postpone pregnancy… including STM.
Last cycle I could read pretty easily. This one was a little more crazy… my sleep has been off, I’ve been stressed (with work and buying a house), and RIGHT when I was thinking I would ovulate and see a temp. spike, my dog got sick and needed out like every 2 hrs! lol. Since we’re not married or having sex right now, I’m focusing extra hard on the other signs… i.e. my cervix and cervical fluid.
What I do love about STM though, is that the temp. drop REALLY let’s me know when to expect my period. I don’t get horrible cramps, but sometimes day one I usually need midol or a pain reliever… Now, I take if BEFORE it hurts! WIN.
Post # 16
I chose the sympto-thermal method (STM) because it was so effective (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221065200.htm). It uses a combination of basal body temperature and the mucus sign. I did experience two months of weird temperatures and mucus signs when I got off the pill, but after that my temperature and mucus sign combined have always reflected the point I’m at in my cycle.
I like the fact that it has a cross-check, because that way if there is trouble in one sign you have the other sign as a backup. Usually everything is fine, but the cross-check has saved me from having sex on my fertile time a few times. I really recommend this method because of the cross-check. It makes me feel much more secure about it.