Birth Control: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Must be checked after each menstrual cycle to ensure it is still in place
  • As with most contraception methods used for and by women, there is no protection against STDs.
  • IUD may increases your chance of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • IUD may increase your chance of tubal pregnancies

Does breast feeding stop ovulation?

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.

How does the Rhythm Method work?

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.

Is the Pull Out Method (Withdrawal Method) safe?

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.

*Reproduction must be authorized in writing only, and altering the material and this copyright is prohibited and protected by international law.

Copyright © Anai Rhoads. Permission to publish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.

Comments

Hi MrsB,
We've added Natural Family Planning to our article data base. Please take a look. We'd love your feedback. ~Julie

Thanks MrsB62808 - We'll add it to the mix, thanks for the feedback!

I notice that while this comment is almost three years old, there's still no article posted on natural family planning. I too am disappointed at the lack of info presented on this site. Were it not for NFP, NaProtechnology, Dr. Hilgers and the Pope Paul VI Institute, we would not be expecting our child in May after three years of infertility. NaProtechology is a great option for many women, and I'm sorry to see that it is not mentioned anywhere on this site.

-B

Thanks J!

It's much appreciated! Especially since pg.org is a GREAT and extremely valuable source of information.

Your response makes it all the better!

Michelle

Michelle,
Thanks for your comment; it's a good point.

There is indeed still a common misconception that the two terms (rhythm method and NFP) are synonymous. In the early 20th century, members of the Roman Catholic church did promote the rhythm method as the only morally acceptable form of "natural family planning." Over time, natural family planning encompassed far more (also approved by the Church for those Catholics reading!)

NFP today includes a variety of symptom-based fertility awareness methods and calendar based including rhythm. The effectiveness of NFP today -- when practiced accurately -- can have as high as 99% effectiveness rate for birth control. It is also quite effective in aiding those that are TTC as well.

I'll post an accurate NFP article and then edit a note into this article linking to it and briefly explaining the difference between calendar-based and symptom-based.

Again thanks for catching this.
j

This article is incomplete and inaccurate!

The Rythm Method is NOT the same as NFP. NFP is a broad name for multiple ways to monitor the woman's natural signs of fertility.

Basal Body Temp (BBT) is only ONE sign that our body gives to us that we are fertile. With that sign alone you learn when you ovulated. By tracking this on a regular basis you can learn when you are ovulating... especially when marked with the OTHER fertility signs! When used correctly, NFP has a VERY HIGH SUCCESS rate!!!

I am rather disappointed in pg.org for not having accurate information on this. Check almost any other website and you'll see the truth and facts about NFP.

This is just frustrating!!!!

I have never had a condom bust except for one time. Since my wife was not on birth control she got pregnant and we are expecting in June :).