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Any women charting or using Fertility Awareness Method as birth control?

Julie Quates

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I've been off the pill for months due to personal/health reasons. I've been looking into natural birth control methods and have started reading through the Taking Charge of Your Fertility. This discusses charting your cycle using basal temp tracking and checking cervical fluid daily.

I'm just wondering if any ladies out there are using this method and have any getting started tips or helpful hints for geting started with this. Anyone want to chat abou this or seen success with this method.

To each her own but I firmly believe that we've been duped into thinking that barrier/hormonal/chemical/inserting foreign objects were the only solutions. Less chemicals and fake things the better!

I'm hoping that I can wrap my brain around this method (so far pretty simple) and that it can work for me and my (new) husband! We REALLY don't want to use condoms anymore. :)


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I am, I am! I swore off hormonal birth control almost 4 years ago and jumped on this. I'll admit I still use condoms all the time and a diaphragm when close to ovulation, but if I were in a more serious relationship, I'd probably ditch the condoms. I have a good friend that's successfully used the FAM with only condoms when she's close to ovulation, and it's worked for the past 4 years since her last kiddo was born. (She got her husband to buy into by having him record her temp every day so he could see it in action!)

Charting is absolutely fascinating, if you ask me! Once you get into the swing of things, you'll wonder why this isn't taught in schools or passed down from generation to generation - you'll learn so much about how the body works! My cycles were really irregular for a while (this has mostly resolved since treating my thyroid properly) and temping allowed me to see the changes in my cycle with each treatment. It also allowed me NOT to freak out about pregnancy when I had a 180+ day cycle because my chart showed me I never ovulated, therefore I couldn't possibly be pregnant. It's also interesting to see how my cycle changes with the Whole30 - it always delays ovulation for me.

As for tips, find a website to help you track - it'll calculate your cover line, predict when your period will start, etc. I use the free one at TCOYF, though it has a few bugs in it. I know a lot of women prefer fertilityfriend.com. I have a digital basal thermometer but am thinking about switching to an old-school thermometer. DON'T use a 10 or 30 second thermometer - those are just for fever/no fever. My sister used one of those for months and it had her convinced she wasn't ovulating! When she switched to a basal one, voila, it revealed she was indeed ovulating!

Good luck!!

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I charted when i was trying to conceive. It was absolutely critical. Through detailed charting, I noticed that while a lot of fertility signs were present, I wasn't ovulating. With a lot of research, I was able to fix this problem nutritionally rather than pharmaceutically. I am now 5 weeks pregnant!

I used the lily app on my phone, it was super-easy. I can also export pdf's of my chart to send to midwife, or post on the discussion boards for tcoyf.com

Just to an app search for FAM or NFP.

Oh, and stay away from the Walgreens brand bbt. They are wildly imprecise. You don't necessarily need accurate, but you need precision and consistency if you are detecting change.

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Best of luck, Julie. I really believe it's the best way to go (for my husband and me, that is). All natural,and you truly do learn a lot about how your body works. DH and I have practiced NFP our whole lives together, and it has also kept us very close-lots of communication-which can only be a good thing in a marriage. I've charted for 24 years now, with 6 kids spaced nicely in between- not a "surprise" in the bunch ;)

It is definitely worth working on -take care !!!

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I use the 'fertility friend' app, as well as ovulation (LSH) prediction strips. I previously had the Mirena coil in for 2 years, the only time I've been on hormonal birth control, and it definitely affected my health - weight gain, mood swings etc. NFP is the way to go!

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Great responses ladies! I'm happy to hear that some of you have done it successfully! My husband is totally on board with it. I'm only on day two of charting (basal temp & cervical fluid) and I'm just ready to get through a few cycles so I can feel confident about using to to prevent pregnancy. I'll look into some apps (doing it with paper now from a TCOYF chart) but an app would be handy. I have a droid though....

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Hi Julie - great decision! I bought TCOYF 11 years ago for the same reason and have used FAM successfully ever since, both to avoid and achieve pregnancy (no accidents :) ). In fact I loved it so much I changed my career went back to university and re-trained as a fertility awareness practitioner and set up my own clinic in Edinburgh on the back of reading that book! There's no better teacher than Weschler and my best advice would be "just do it" - start charting with your paper charts and see how it goes, keep the book close to hand and mark the important pages that you'll need to refer back to until you get into the swing of it. You'll soon get the hang of it and it adds a wealth of information about your health. Good luck!

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I did this to get pregnant but now I want my copper iud out and would like to use this method again and not get pregnant. However I do not sleep consistently and wake during the night so my temps are never accurate. Also, all the people I know personally who do this have a lot of kids and don't mind if they get pregnant again. I would love to hear from anyone who has done this for 5-10 years and not gotten pregnant during that time and they do not use condoms or any other backup method.

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Just wanted to add some more encouragement here for those who are considering/trying to use any type of NFP. I am a FIRM believer that the various forms of birth control are not as harmless as we have all been led to believe (both to those taking them and to our world as a whole, which experiences the effects of the hormones as well). My husband and I use the sympto-thermal method, which combines temperature, cervical mucus, and cervix signs (we chose to learn this method from a Couple to Couple League, aka CCL, course). If you are properly trained and properly aware, it works. I do suggest to everyone that they take LEARNING the method very seriously-- I know very few people who have "tried NFP" and had it fail, but those I do are people who read a couple synopses on the web and decided that was enough. That works maybe 80% of the time, but when you have an irregular cycle, changes due to stress, are on meds, or anything else that can be disruptive to your hormones, it is SO helpful to have an entire textbook of answers AND a support system to fall back on (in our case, the volunteers at CCL). I've been married 2 years and so far we have only used this method to avoid conception, but based on how well we now understand my fertility, it seems like TTC with it will work just as well!

The way I see it, if I am working so hard to ensure only clean, natural foods make it into my body, including meat and poultry free of artificial hormones, I am sure as heck NOT going to swallow artificial hormones every day in the form of birth control (or place it in an IUD in my body)! Our bodies know what they're doing.

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Reading TCOYF is on my to-do list! I'm really interested in going off hormonal birth control, but DO NOT want kids any time in the near future. It's encouraging to hear that folks have successfully used NFP to avoid pregnancy.

Has anyone heard of (or had success using) the Lady Comp? It's a little machine that attaches to a thermometer and you use it to take your BBT everyday. It wakes you up with an alarm so you're sure to take it at the same time. After a month or so of using it (in addition to the other methods for tracking, at least to begin with) it will give you red and green days.There are some threads out there with people who've used them and loved them, but no one I know has ever used one.

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