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Natural Family Planning: Meaning, Methods, and Benefits

Family planning activities allow people or couples to freely decide when they want to start a family, how many children they want to have, and how close together they want their children to be born.

Family planning methods can be used either naturally or artificially.

Natural family planning: What is it?

Natural family planning refers to birth control techniques that don’t rely on pills or preventatives and allow couples to have a more active role in deciding how many children they want to have and how old their siblings should be.

Natural family planning techniques concentrate on a woman’s ovulation times and sexual activity because it is during this phase of her cycle that NFP pregnancy is most likely to occur.

You must meticulously track your body’s reproductive signs if you use NFP techniques. Getting the technique perfect could take some time, but when done correctly, it can be up to 99% effective.

This article will explain how to plan a family organically and what advantages natural family planning techniques have.

Three natural methods of family planning

The ovulation or mucus method, the rhythm method, and the symptothermal approach are the finest natural family planning techniques.

1. The ovarian cycle

The term “ovulation” describes the process through which an egg is discharged from the ovaries into the Fallopian tubes. The secondary oocyte ovarian cells are released when the ovarian follicles burst. The egg sits in the luteal phase, waiting to be fertilized.

The uterine lining thickens to receive a fertilized egg, and if conception is unsuccessful, the lining is lost during menstruation. Women typically experience ovulation in the middle of their menstrual cycle.

The goal when a couple schedules their sexual activity around the female cycle is to target ovulation in order to accomplish or prevent potential fertilization at that time.

For married couples who don’t want to take preventive birth control but yet want to be intimate, avoiding sex during the ovulation phase is a popular practice.

In the mucus or ovulation method, a woman must monitor her cervical mucus. A woman’s body creates a stretchy, transparent, and slippery mucus during ovulation, which resembles or feels like raw egg white.

The steps listed below can be used to examine your ovulation mucus:

– Examine the discharge coming from your vagina with your fingers and get a sample. At the very least, for the first time, you need to do this every morning.

– Examine the mucus with your fingers and thumbs to determine its consistency.

You are about to ovulate if it seems clear and flexible like an egg white.

You will enter an infertile phase four days after this, which will cease when your next fertile phase starts.

2. Rhythm method

The days of a cycle are projected using this method onto a 28-day chart. Beginning with the first day of the female’s menstrual cycle, days are numbered. The natural family planning chart is notated to reflect the period when ovulation should occur at the twelve to fourteen day point.

Physical changes, such as the how the female mucosa looks, are noted since they could be signs of ovulation. She is most likely ovulating now if the timing is good and the female mucosa has an egg-white texture.

Follow the suggested steps:

– For a period of six months, keep track of the first day of your menstruation.

– During these six months, gauge the length of your menstrual cycle.

– Subtract 18 days from the shortest cycle to get the first day of your fertile period.

– Subtract 11 days from your longest cycle to get the final day of your reproductive period.

– From the first to the last day of your reproductive cycle, refrain from sexual activity.

3. Symptothermal method

The daily basal body temperature is checked as part of the symptothermal natural family planning approach the week before ovulation is anticipated. On the day of ovulation, a woman’s temperature will be slightly higher by roughly one degree.

The optimal time to test the temperature is early in the morning at the same time of day. The temperature would often range between 97° and 98°F on a typical day. However, the temperature may increase by between.5 and 1 degree during ovulation.

The pair can also notice changes in the texture and appearance of the cervical mucus, which can indicate ovulation.

Take the following actions:

– After waking up each morning but before getting out of bed, take your temperature. Keep track of the measurements from each day and take the temperature at the same time each day.

-After at least six readings, calculate your body temperature on an average basis.

– Ovulation has begun if three or more consecutive readings of your temperature are higher than usual.

The third day following ovulation is when you will enter an infertile phase.

5 advantages of natural family planning

The pros and benefits of natural family planning are numerous and include:

The most obvious one is that individuals or couples can make sure they avoid getting pregnant or have children if they so choose.

Additionally, there would be no need for artificial contraceptives or chemical goods that are medically recommended but can be damaging to a woman’s or a man’s body.

Most women can use natural family planning if they are well educated and aware of their fertility. You won’t require more help from a healthcare professional if you understand how to accurately record your body’s reproductive indicators.

Natural family planning techniques can aid women in understanding their bodies more fully and alerting them to any atypical vaginal secretions that might indicate or be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection.

Natural family planning has the additional advantage of not offending any religions and being accepted across all cultures. Additionally, they are instantly and entirely reversible, and you can become pregnant as soon as you stop using any NFP techniques.

5 drawbacks to natural family planning

Natural family planning has a unique set of advantages. But there are also some dangers present. Find out about these 5 dangers of natural family planning:

1. Unwanted pregnancies

NFP allows space for user error and probable unwanted pregnancy because it demands proper use and regular tracking of fertility indications.

2. User mistake

Inaccurate estimates of fertile and infertile periods might result from improper use, erroneous interpretation of fertility signals, or absent tracking.

3. Ineffective for some medical situations

The predictability of fertility symptoms might be impacted by certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), rendering NFP inaccurate.

4. Affected by personal habits

Lifestyle elements can affect a woman’s fertility and the precision of fertility predictions made with NFP, including stress, illness, travel, and erratic sleeping patterns.

5. Can require commitment and motivation

NFP can be time-consuming, takes motivation, and is most effective when used consistently and diligently to track fertility symptoms.

How successful is the natural way of family planning?

When applied properly, natural family planning (NFP) techniques, commonly referred to as fertility awareness, can be an effective way of NFP contraception. In order to determine their fertile and infertile days, NFP requires women to monitor their menstrual cycle and look for symptoms of fertility.

Natural family planning is said to have a failure rate of 2-24% when it comes to effectiveness. However, a number of things, including stress, illness, and irregular menstrual cycles, can affect the effectiveness.

Natural Family Planning is suited for certain women who desire a more natural approach to birth control because it is a non-invasive and hormone-free alternative. For Natural Family Planning to be used properly and to be discussed with a healthcare professional on its suitability, it is crucial to get the appropriate training and education.

Natural family planning: How secure is it?

Being free of hormonal or physical manipulation, natural family planning is seen as secure. However, depending on how consistently and properly it is used, it may or may not be successful in preventing pregnancy.

It might not be appropriate for persons with irregular cycles or those who have trouble identifying reproductive indicators. By choosing an NFP method that is supported by research and getting medical assistance, its safety and efficacy can be increased.

What natural approach of family planning works the best?

The Symptothermal form, which uses monitoring of basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and cervix changes to identify fertile and infertile days, is the most successful natural form of family planning.

It can provide a Pearl Index of 0.5-3.0 when used appropriately and regularly, making it just as effective as hormonal birth control treatments.

However, it necessitates the couple’s drive, self-control, dedication, and regular check-ins with a medical professional for precise instructions and monitoring.