The 100% natural birth control method you need to know about!
Date published: February 18 2021
Tired of the side effects you’re getting from your hormonal birth control? Let me introduce you to the FAM method! A natural birth control method that will leave you with zero side effects!
After being on the pill for about 10 years, I decided to quit for 2 reasons:
1. I felt as though the pill was getting in the way of me feeling like my best self
2. I was curious to see what my body would be like without taking hormones every day
But the main reason was the first. I'm all about doing what we can to feel our best selves. And for me, I felt like the pill was getting in the way of that for multiple reasons (if you're curious, I explain it all in my podcast episode that you can find at the bottom of this page).
However, before quitting the pill, I had done an extensive amount of research to find a natural birth control method that I could use in replacement.
Which leads me to the FAM method (FAM stands for Fertility Awareness Method).
Now, my goal with this post is to inform you that this natural birth control method exists, however if you’re looking to dive deeper in learning the ins and outs, I highly recommend the book that taught me, called: Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
This book is huge and contains tonssss of information! (highly recommend!)
This method is completely natural, and can have a very high effectiveness rate depending on how you choose to use it - let me explain.
This natural birth control method combines different “sub-methods” all with the end goal of tracking WHEN you ovulate. This is important as ovulation is when there is a chance of pregnancy (the day(s) of, along with about 5-7 days prior). Therefore, once you know this information, you can choose to do what you wish when it comes to family planning.
Knowing there is a real chance of pregnancy during those days, I typically like to stay on the safe side and avoid sex as a whole.
On the flip side, the other days of the month are deemed relatively “safe”, with a very low chance of pregnancy (no ovulation, no pregnancy).
Therefore as you can see, this method will not PROTECT you from getting pregnant, it will simply inform you of when you’re ovulating, which you can choose to do with this information what you wish.
This is something to keep in mind when deciding whether or not this will be a good fit for you.
Alright, now that you understand the goal of this method, let’s get into the what I like to call “sub-methods” that will help you identify when you’re ovulating.
1. Temperature tracking/charting
Did you know that your temperature rises slightly after you ovulate? By tracking your temperature, you can start to get a pretty good idea of around which day in your cycle you tend to ovulate!
It is recommended that you take your temperature first thing in the morning upon waking up, each day. This way, you’re comparing “apples to apples”. Your body temperature can change simply after you get out of bed, so it’s important to keep the external factors as consistent as possible.
Keep in mind that other things can also cause inconsistent temperature readings such as having a fever, etc. These are things you will learn in the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
You will need to use a basal body thermometer for this (which you can get for as low as about $10-15 on Amazon), as this will give you the most precise reading using decimal points.
When I say your temperature raises post-ovulation, it only raises by a little bit, therefore you will need a basal body thermometer to catch this shift.
The idea is to take your temperature every day, and log it into a chart for ease of reading. After doing this for a couple of months, you will likely see a general pattern on which day you are most likely to ovulate.
This will not warn you BEFORE you ovulate, therefore you’re relying on the previous month's data to make an informed guess on when you’re ovulating.
The longer you track this, the more accurate your guesses should become. The more data you will have on your cycle patterns.
I use an app called Kindara to log this information - it creates the chart automatically, which is really nice.
2. Cervical mucus
Around the time of/and leading up to ovulation, cervical mucus tends to change.
This is another great symptom that you can use to help you make an educated guess on when you’re going to ovulate.
I’m not going to dive in deep detail here, as they do so in the book, however here is a general idea of what you can expect:
3. Cervix changes
During your cycle, the cervix position, firmness, and openness changes. Closer to ovulation, the cervix becomes softer, and opens up more a little bit more.
By detecting these changes, you’re again better able to predict when you’re ovulating.
You can read more about these exact changes inside the book.
This is not a method that I’ve been using, as I found it a challenge to notice any drastic changes, however I did want to let you know about it!
4. Ovulation tests
This is one of my favorites (however not mentioned in the book).
These test are super easy to use (they work just like pregnancy tests), telling you whether you have a raise in your LH levels or not.
LH (Luteinizing hormone) levels will rise right before ovulation, therefore these tests will be able to tell you when you’re (or just about to) ovulate.
You can buy these tests in bulk on Amazon for about $15 (a box of these have lasted me about a year - I typically use 2-4 per month, as I have a rough estimate on when I’m ovulating, therefore I use the tests on these dates to confirm my predictions).
It's also important to note that these tests will indicate a positive reading only about 1-3 days prior to ovulation, but that there can be a chance of pregnancy about 5-7 days before ovulation. Therefore, a negative test does not mean there is no chance of pregnancy. None of the methods will 100% tell you this, as each cycle can change from month to month. The key is to use multiple of these methods together, gather data, and make an informed guess on when ovulation is likely to occur. As mentioned above, the longer you track your cycles, the more data you'll have, and the more confident you'll become in determining when ovulation is happening.
I’m going to wrap it up here for now - as mentioned above, the Taking Charge of Your Fertility book will tell you everything you need to know about this method!
I will leave some resources below if you’d like to continue the conversation on my experience using this method, along with what it’s like quitting the birth control pill (1 year later).
I hope you enjoyed today’s read, and wish you an amazing rest of your day!
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Pt. 1 How quitting the pill helped me reconnect with myself (the new method I'm using: FAM)
Pt. 2 How quitting the pill helped me reconnect with myself: 1 year later (video diaries)
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