What is Natural Cycle Birth Control?
While there are a variety of non-hormonal and hormonal contraceptive options out there, some women choose to go a more natural route and track their ovulation in order to prevent pregnancy. Tracking your natural cycles is also referred to as “the rhythm method”.
There are a variety of fertility tracking tools including smartphone apps and watches that can help you keep track of your menstrual cycle, so you know the exact dates of ovulation. Since a woman is at her most fertile during the five days before ovulation, a woman who is following the natural cycle method of birth control will want to abstain from sex during these days or use condoms or another form of birth control to protect against pregnancy.
There are several different ways to track your fertility,
- You can simply use a calendar to track your cycle
- You can take your temperature each morning before getting up
- You can check your cervical mucus every day
In order to ensure the highest rate of success, it’s recommended that you track your fertility using all three of these methods. When it comes to taking your temperature, it’s important that you are taking it at the same time every day in order to get the most accurate reading.
Our bodies are naturally 98.6 degrees F, but temperatures may be lower at the start of your cycle and then rise right around the time of ovulation. Before ovulating, your temperature may range from 96-98 degrees F but after you ovulate your temperature may rise to 97-99 degrees F.
Your cervical mucus or vaginal discharge will also change in consistency throughout your cycle. These changes can let you know when you are ovulating. Begin checking cervical mucus at the start of your cycle right after your period has ended. You want to examine the color and texture. It’s important to record as much about the color and texture as possible. You should notice an increase in stretchy cervical mucus that resembles egg whites right around ovulation.
It’s important to fully understand how to properly track your natural cycle in order to protect against pregnancy, and it may be best to discuss this with our fertility specialist Dr. Brandeis to make sure that you are charting and recording everything properly before you start using this as a birth control method.
If you have questions or concerns about the natural cycle birth control method and want to find out if it’s right for you, the fertility team at Brandeis Fertility Center of New York is happy to answer your questions. Call us at (718) 433-3833 to learn more.