Natural Birth Control Methods
Natural birth control methods can help you prevent unplanned pregnancies. Natural birth control is generally not as effective as methods like sterilization or hormone-based birth control options. However, when using natural birth control to prevent pregnancy, you do not need to worry about side effects as you do with other methods.
- Rhythm method. The rhythm method uses information from a female’s menstrual cycles for the past year to predict when she will be fertile. The natural birth control method is not having intercourse while she’s fertile. This method involves subtracting eighteen days from the shortest cycle of the year, which is the first fertile day, and eleven days from the longest, which is the last fertile day.
- Basal body temperature method. The basal body temperature method involves a female taking her temperature every day while still in bed. If her temperature is lower than normal, then an egg may be released in the next twelve to twenty-four hours, meaning she’s fertile. An ovulation thermometer must be used because the difference in temperature is less than 1%.
- Cervical mucus inspection method. Checking a female’s cervical mucus consistency is a natural form of birth control. Just before an egg is released and a woman becomes fertile, the cervical mucus is a watery white color and can be stretched up to an inch. There is also more mucus than normal. For natural birth control, do not have intercourse three to four days after the cervical mucus changes, and only have intercourse every other day after that so sperm does not affect mucus consistency.
- Ovulation prediction kit. This kit is a natural form of birth control that determines when a female is ovulating, meaning she is fertile and should not have intercourse. Most kits test a female’s urine for the presence and amount of a certain hormone, known as luteinizing hormone, or LH, which matures the egg and causes it to drop.
- Withdrawal method. Withdrawal is a natural birth control method that involves removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation occurs. This prevents the sperm from ever entering the vaginal canal, thus helping prevent pregnancy.
- Abstinence. Compared to other forms of natural birth control, abstinence is by far the most effective. The best way to prevent pregnancy is to eliminate all sexual activity, but just eliminating intercourse will greatly reduce the chances of getting pregnant.