Natural family planning is a way to attempt to get pregnant without using hormonal pills or devices. If you want control over your fertility without side effects, Gerardo Sotomayor, MD, and his team at Gynecology and Cosmetic Surgery Center of Atlanta in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, can help you learn to keep track of your body’s natural fertility cycles. For more information about natural family planning, book an appointment by phone or online at Gynecology and Cosmetic Surgery Center of Atlanta today.
Natural family planning, also called fertility awareness, is a way to plan or avoid a pregnancy without using medications, hormones, or devices. Instead, natural family planning requires you to become in tune with your body’s natural cycles and the windows of opportunity that allow a pregnancy to occur.
In order to understand how natural family planning works, you need to have an understanding of the way your menstrual cycle works. You know you bleed for several days each month, but your body’s cycle continues between periods, too.
At some point during your menstrual cycle, your ovary releases an egg which travels down the fallopian tube and into your uterus. During this time, there is a 12-24-hour window in which sperm can fertilize it. With no fertilization, your uterus sheds its lining and your menstrual cycle begins again.
There are three ways to keep track of this cycle to find your window. You can either avoid sexual intercourse during the window or take advantage of it to try and get pregnant.
The team at Gynecology and Cosmetic Surgery Center of Atlanta can help you find your window of ovulation with:
During ovulation, the mucus on your cervix changes consistency to become clear. stretchy, and slick. You can find out when you ovulate by checking your mucus daily and keeping track of its qualities.
Another way to track your ovulation is by taking your basal body temperature (BBT) daily with a thermometer. Your normal body temperature is between 97 and 98 degrees. During ovulation, it rises by half a degree or more. The best time to take your temperature is in the morning right after you wake up.
This is the least reliable of the three methods. You can gain a loose understanding of your ovulation cycle by keeping track of your menstrual cycle on a calendar. If you think of the first day of your period as day one of your cycle, you can estimate that ovulation happens around day 14.
Many women prefer natural family planning over other family planning methods because of these benefits:
When you use natural family planning correctly, it’s effective. However, you must be willing to stop having sex for several days each month if you want to avoid a pregnancy.
For more information about natural family planning, call Gynecology and Cosmetic Surgery Center of Atlanta or book an appointment online today.