The first thought that comes to a lot of folks’ minds when speaking about family balancing with natural birth control and pregnancy achievement is usually the Rhythm Method. This is the “Russian Roulette” approach to birth control where you simply use the calendar to decide when to have or avoid sexual intercourse.
It’s a falsehood at best because it’s a fact that ovulation does NOT occur on day 14 of every woman’s cycle. The textbook cycle, in fact, is rare. What might be normal for some is way off for others. That’s why each woman, when charting her fertility signs, discovers what’s normal for her.
With this in mind, let’s go over the true and trustworthy forms of natural birth control and pregnancy achievement methods. For the sake of shortening the title, I’ll refer to it as natural methods from here on out. The first type of natural method is the Billings method. Billings derives its name from Drs. John and Evelyn Billings, who developed the method by strictly observing the cervical fluid at the vaginal opening. Billings can pinpoint fertile days by noting the consistency of the cervical fluid, which becomes clear and watery at its most fertile stage. This can be good if you are more typical and not prone to infections or a lot of stress, which can hinder and offset the cervical fluid making it rather impossible to truly judge the fertile days.
The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) uses the Billings method plus it observes the basal (or waking) body temperature and the position of the cervix to determine the fertile days. This method is a little more reliable than Billings since it incorporates all three of the fertility signs to come to a conclusion.
Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) is the natural method of using breastfeeding as birth control. This works fairly well if your baby is exclusively breastfed at least every 4 hours during the day and at least every 6 hours at night.
Natural Family Planning (NFP) observes the naturally occurring signs of fertility to avoid/achieve pregnancy. NFP is exactly like FAM, except NFP abstains during the fertile stages if pregnancy is wished to be prevented rather than by using a barrier method which is permitted with FAM.
Last but not least, there is the Sympto-thermal Method (STM). STM uses all the NFP and FAM signs as well as incorporates any other secondary fertility symptom to come to a conclusion. Other secondary fertility symptoms are spotting during ovulation and possibly after ovulation indicating pregnancy, ovarian pain, the use of ovulation predictor kits and vaginal sensation. Of all the methods STM is the most reliable and effective of the natural methods.