Have you ever wondered if there was another way to take hold of your fertility besides with medication? Good news! There is a holistic way to take care of you and your fertility, and it’s all natural!
I have tried several birth control methods: Nuvaring, the pill, the patch, just to name a few. They did their job at avoiding pregnancy, but in turn it did a number on my mental state and overall health of my body. In fact, a year before my husband and I got married I went off birth control, because I knew that we would like to have kids after we got married, and I was struggling with depression with a side of mood swings! (We already had two healthy beautiful girls, but knew we wanted more.) I did NOT have a period that whole year, but my depression improved and the mood swings went away almost immediately.
I even waited months after we got married to finally approach my doctor with what was going on. I had a blood test run, and we found that my birth control had affected my hormones, and we needed to get them back to normal. It was really frustrating. I ended up taking another medication to kick start my dropped hormones, and a couple months later we got pregnant. (My husband and I are lucky and blessed that is all it took. For many people it is often far worse.)
After all of the tests and medicines, I decided I wanted to find something that didn’t effect me in a bad way or shut down a part of my body that was finally functioning normally.
Luckily my doctor knew an option for me. He introduced me to a fertility practitioner that not only helped me learn the Creighton Model of Natural Family Planning, but also cared for me as a person. What a relief it was to find something that was going to work for myself and my husband!
The Creighton Model of Natural Family Planning
The Creighton Model is a method where you monitor your cervical mucus. Yeah, I know, mucus. Some of you maybe thinking, “Ewww, gross!”, but I see it as I’m taking control of my own fertility. You monitor it, look for signs of ovulation, and chart it at the end of the day. I also meet with my fertility care practitioner to discuss my charts. The meetings decrease as you get to know your body and charting better. We also discuss more than charting. Sometimes our meetings last a little longer because we (mostly I!) get to talking.
You may think it won’t work for you because you don’t have normal periods. I do not have “normal” periods, and it works for my husband and I. No woman is the same as the next. All our bodies are different and give us signs that we just have to watch for. I’m not going to tell you it’s easy. You have to be consistent, but with time and help from a fertility practitioner, you too could take your fertility into your own hands! (The practice I go to has scholarships available if you don’t have health insurance to cover the cost, but my insurance pays for it, and yours might, too!)
Another bonus: my husband is involved. We discuss my chart and whether we think it’s safe to, well, you know.
Reasons to go Holistic
Here are my reasons for using–and loving!–this method:
1. It doesn’t cause cancer, and I don’t have to worry about what I’m putting into my body.
2. It’s complete health care for me.
3. It’s green. (I love natural products!)
4. No side effects!
5. I don’t have to track down a pharmacy that takes my insurance.
6. My husband gets to help me.
7. It works.
It is so simple, and if used correctly, it’s 99.5% effective if you are avoiding a pregnancy. (This method is great for achieving pregnancy too, but my husband and I are currently using it to avoid.)
There are several methods out there that you can use besides the Crighton Model, which I use. The Symptothermal Method and the Marquette Model of Natural Family Planning are ones that are most common besides the Creighton Model. All of these may be referred to as NFP, which is Natural Family Planning.
If you are looking for a natural way to take care of you and your fertility and you would like more research on these methods, here are some helpful websites on the Creighton Model, Natural Procreative Technology, Fiat Fertility Care Center of the Cedar Valley, and The Guiding Star Project.
Find a practitioner to help you with Natural Family Planning on this list of practitioners.
I hope you can find a birth control method that works for you, your health, and your family!