Listen to Lisa (Fertility Friday) and myself talk about all sorts of things relating to fertility awareness, including:
Listen here and find out more about Lisa's podcasts here
Funny, clear and wonderfully well made, this film has a freshness and honesty that makes it compelling viewing whether you’re new to fertility awareness as contraception or you've been using it for years.
The tone is steady, measured and not overly evangelical, which I found a relief. I love fertility awareness but I don't want anyone to feel like they don't have options.
Those interviewed talk briefly about how profit affects healthcare but this doesn’t overwhelm the main messages, and the film is sympathetic to healthcare providers wanting to do the right thing by their patients.
That said, there’s a few things it's worth knowing:
One of the first things you’ll be asked if you're choosing contraception is whether you’d like to have periods.
Many methods of contraception have "no periods"* as a selling point - even the pill can be taken more or less continuously, with just a few pill free days every so often to stop irregular bleeding.
If you’re using fertility awareness as contraception there isn't a "no periods"
It was the 1995 pill scare that got me thinking about my contraception. The "scare" meant that women had died.
I’d automatically chosen the pill, like millions of women, and I was fortunate enough to get on with it perfectly well.
I would have continued with it, despite the slightly increased risk, but then a friend suggested fertility awareness as contraception.
I thought it sounded a bit fringe, not like a serious method at all.
It also felt irresponsible. We were both working in the NHS, in public health, we knew how risk worked. Shouldn't we "walk the talk"?
If you want to get pregnant, the NICE Fertility guidance recommends that you have vaginal sexual intercourse every 2 to 3 days.
For many this is great news. At last – freedom from contraception! Woo Hoo!
Others will find that their hearts sink.
Maybe you don’t have sex that often (which is fine - you're not alone*), or your patience is limited, or you have a slightly more varied approach to sex (which is fine as well - just so long as everyone is happy).
If that any of that sounds like you, then you might benefit from having some
Checking cervical fluid is one of the things that can put people right off using fertility awareness as contraception.
Of course we shouldn't hate our bodies and what comes out of them. Cervical fluid is very cool stuff.
And yet it can seem like a bit of a hassle.
Do you have to use a scoring system for stretch, colour and texture? Do you have to buy a speculum kit from the lovely people at the Beautiful Cervix Project?
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers magazine.
Going through childbirth can seem like the ultimate contraceptive – who would ever want to have sex again??
The amazing thing is that our bodies, and our libidos, generally recover and sex can still be a fun part of a loving relationship.
The main thing is to be prepared, an unplanned pregnancy is probably the last thing you need and you never know when
Fertility awareness (natural family planning) practitioner and advocate working in London. Wants to see fertility awareness become a routine contraceptive option, not the only option. read more...
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