LAM (Lactational Amenorrhea Method) suppresses ovulation due to breast feeding your infant. It changes the body's hormones, to trick the reproductive system into thinking you are still pregnant, so you do not release an egg. It has a success rate of 98% if there are no menses during the first 5-6 months or as long as you are breast feeding your baby.
You may notice some vaginal dryness during this time. Use a gentle lubricant. In addition, your nipples may become red, swollen, or develop dry skin. In the event that this occurs, see your doctor for special creams to help ease these symptoms.
The Rhythm Method has a high failure rate. It is based on natural family planning, which monitors ovulation days to avoid intercourse. [Editor's note: Natural Family Planning has come a long way from the calendar based rhythm method of the 1930's. For couples who practice NFP accurately, it offers a 99 percent effective birth control method.]
There are several ways to monitor your cycles. BBT (Basal Body Temperature) is one way, but it will only tell you if you have ovulated in your current cycle - after the fact.
Your best protection against pregnancy is a combination of the Pill and proper use of a condom. Since even the most normal menstrual cycles vary in ovulation times, the Rhythm Method has a chance to fail at any moment.
The highest number of sperm are in the first drops of ejaculate. Pre-ejaculate (also known as precum) can carry thousands of active sperm. The pull out method has a high failure rate because of this. Even a few drops of semen close to your vagina can result in pregnancy. The sperm will travel with your natural cervical mucous quickly swimming to reach an egg.
Anai Rhoads is a medical and political researcher/writer with a particular interest in the sanctions on Iraq and the wider effect of racism's influence in the Middle East. A vegan since 2000, she is a dedicated supporter of activities which promote animal and human rights. Originally from Greece, she now resides in Virginia, USA with her husband and their two dogs, Bijou and Eva.
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