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Wow, finally found a group of women who use NFP and FAM. :-) Most people think I'm nuts if I mention it.

I was just wondering if anyone uses Ladycomp or anything similar? I don't trust myself to get it right (even though I have the Weshler book) so I've been using mine for 5 years. Sounds like most of you handchart?
would love to revive this thread- have been charting since going off the pill in August, and this past cycle has been my first trying to get pregnant. It's been quite a rollercoaster, to say the least- I feel everything! I am totally obsessed with charting & do it online at
Cinegirl...I tried charting last month. I'm not particularly good at it because I have a hard time remembering to take my temp first thing in the morning. I have always been aware of the calendar aspect of fertility though. I have never been on birth control pills, but I used to use condoms when I was especially concerned about getting pg. We just started TTC, too. Last month I think I screwed the charting up because according to what I had I should have O'd the 16th day..we DTD and nothing. But this month I bought soem ovulator kit things...I used the first one this morning(cycle day 11) and it looks like I am on track for day 13 or 14.Hopefully we will both get lucky. What Cycle day are you on?
Sorry, what is TTC and the Ladycomp and an ovulator kit thingy?

I can't remember to take the temp first thing in the morning, my cervical fluid is generally much thinker even when ovulating so I can't rely on it, and my vag is rather short, so I can't rely on checking when its low cause it always feels low.

What works for me is charting my period. And figuring when I ovulate and using protection up to six or seven days before ovulation. I use the feeling in my body to help to tell me that I am ovulating or about to ovulate. I can feel it all over...
TTC=Trying to Concieve

The ovulator kit thingy is like a pg test that you pee on and it traces the hormon levels in your urine. You do it evry day from day 11-until you ovulate if you are wanting to get pg.

Yeah....I've never been much in the cervicle fluid method. I've basically always done what you mention about tracking periods and being careful from about day 10-20.
I'm on cycle day 1, the saddest day for TTCers...

I've gotten used to taking my temp- cervical fluid doesn't work for me b/c I've had cryosurgery & apparently that can affect your fluid. I'm obsessed with charting my temps b/c it's so amazing to watch my temperature jump around.

I also always feel ovarian pain when I ovulate, which is cool. What I love about FAM is seeing how amazing my body is...
hummingbird, Ladycomp is like an alarm clock with a thermometer and computer chip that does all the charting for you. It has 3 lights: red, green, yellow. Green is 'go for it', red is 'only if you want to get pregnant', and yellow is 'your guess is as good as mine'.

Thanks Ladies.
I heard about this thread over in the "have your period whenver you want" thread.

How does NFP work? What do you have to do? It's confusing to me, because I thought that the consensus was that a woman "could" get pregnant at any time.

Thanks for the info
maddy...mostly it involves taking your temp every morning with a basal body thermometer to determine when you are ovulating. Women can get pregnant at any time IF they are ovulating irregularly or having unprotected sex within 3-4 days of ovulation. My husband and I mark a calendar because I have a fairly regular cycle and we don't have unprotected sex during cycle days 10-20. I usually ovulate between days 14-16. We use condoms or other non hormonal birth control during that 10 day period. Of course now that we are trying to get pg, we are trying to pinpoint exactly when I ovulate in order to get the maximum chance of conception.I have been sexually active for...I guess about 10 years now. I have never used hormonal birth control and only have 1 child, and she was planned.
I used to be pretty consistant with condoms until about the last 2 years. I've found that latex and spermacides kind of irritate me so I try not to use anything when I don't have to now.
This is probably way more information than you wer wanting.;p
No, this is great! VEry interesting. I just got an IUD, so I'm set for Birth control for now, but i had no idea there was a more natural way to do it. Although, the reason I went off the pill was mostlyl because every now and then I'd forget it, and I just didn't want to risk it.

Thanks for the info. What is a basal body thermometer?
It's a thermometer that you use to take your emperature while you are still in bed in the morning. Once you get up, your heart rate increase..temp goes up, ect.
For me this is a great method. Mr. Pixie and I have been talking about having a child ever since we got together.(we've only been married 2 months). So even before the wedding,had we gotten pg, not a huge deal. Before that I was married for 10 years(2 seperated)and had I gotten pg by accident then, again not a big deal.
In the end you have to access how regular you are, and how you would deal with an unexpected pregnancy. When we are no longer comfortable with the idea of an unexpected pregnancy the Mr. will get a vasectomy.
Thanks pixie- it does sound like great bc for someone who is somewhat ok with an unplanned pregnancy-not for me!
If you are really interested maddy (as in, not just mildly curious--not that there is anything wrong with that either but it's probably not enough motivation to read a book :-) ), there is a really good book which may be at your local library that explains everything really well:

Taking Charge of Your Fertility
by Toni Weschler

(it's available on Amazon, but I haven't figured out how to post proper links here)

Oh, and by the way, I'm not the least bit ok with an unplanned pregnancy but this is what I use. We don't have sex when I'm fertile because condoms can fail.

It's not as spontaneous, but we're ok with it. I've been using it for 5 years (I've always used a computerised charter though, because I don't trust my charting skills and memory of all the rules and the computerised doodad is a lot more conservative than most people).

Okay I just started charting and I have a problem.
- my temperatures are consistently 0.5 degrees C (I'm in Britain so I can only really get metric thermometers) below the chart! (I'm on day 6 so they should be fairly low.)Also, the chart goes in 0.05 accuracy but my thermometer is 0.1. Do I just have a lower body temperature and need to make some DIY charting sheets with lower temperatures or what? And do I need a new thermometer?
Thanks sooo much for any help. I think this whole FAM things ace!
Cat x

PS Hello! I'm new, long time lurker coming crawling in when I have a problem :D
Hi, catclark. My temps are usually low too. The Garden of Fertility website has low temp charts.
fertilityfriend dot com will keep track of your temps and other indicators as well. you don't have to print anything out. of course, this would only work if you have regular internet access.

i've been using it for a year now, since miscarrying in june of '05. i'm using it for conception purposes and without it, i wouldn't have known that i stopped ovulating after the mc.

even though i really thought i KNEW my body/cycle, etc, everything seemed so new.

i also totally recommend the TCOYF book that tatiana suggested. but like she said, only get started if you are willing to do this EVERY DAY. it's not a half-assed thing to do or you'll screw yourself royally. hehe
I love TCOYF. I think all women should read it, no matter what.

I use mymonthlycycles dot com to chart.

Cinegirl...Thanks for the great website.
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Jun 27 2006, 03:18 PM) *

Thanks pixie- it does sound like great bc for someone who is somewhat ok with an unplanned pregnancy-not for me!

FAM isn't for those that are okay with an unplanned pregnancy anymore than any other form of birth control is. If you are having sex there is always a chance of pregnancy, and FAM is just as effective at avoiding it as any other method. Of course you have to use it correctly, but the same goes for the pill and condoms, etc. My husband and I would rather not have a child at this time so we are extra careful, adding an extra day or two of abstinence if we are in doubt. I would be much less assured if we relied on condoms which could fail (and only would fail during my fertile time) or the pill, which can also fail with occasional breakthough ovulations, yet I would not be aware of this at the time. Those types of birth control feel so blind to me, not really knowing what is going on with my body, hoping for the best. With FAM I always know what's going on with my cycle, knowing if I'm very fertile, a little fertile, or not fertile. Another benefit is that I can tell if I've been eating right due to the consistency of my mucus. My mucus is always much heavier and stretchy when I've been eating my veggies.

I realized after sending that, that I should have introduced myself. I was on this board a year ago, but I've forgotten my user name and password, so I started a new account. I've been using FAM for about 1 1/2 years and so far so good. I was planning to get an IUD eventually, when I could afford one, but I like FAM so much that I don't think I will.
hi katze- i was really just responding to what pixie said in her post, aboutnot being totally destroyed if she did get pregnant.

i actually do have an iud, cause i never want kids. and i don't really want to have to think about my fertility, either.

that's really cool about the veggies! wow! kind of amazing actually.
So I have been obsessively reading/memorizing Taking Charge of Your Fertility to try to make sense of my cycle. I've been charting with the book since going off the pill last August, using a diaphragm for BC during my fertile phase, but now we're actively TTC and all of a sudden I'm obsessed with finding out EXACTLY when I'm ovulating.

Here's what the book is not helping me figure out:

I had a slight thermal shift three days ago, which seems par for the course- I haven't been getting the super-obvious spike the last few cycles. But then last night I had really, really obvious ovarian pain. I mean, it was unmistakeable. It says that the thermal shift occurs after ovulation, but ovarian pain is a sign of ovulation. This makes no sense to me. This morning I didn't have a clear shift, just another temp a tenth of a degree above my highest temps in the first part of my cycle, just like I had the three days previous. I'm so confused! I should add that I've had cryosurgery on my cervix so my cervical fluid is useless for charting. And I have not had much success finding my cervix.

I have read that ovarian pain is a secondary symptom and should only be considered to reconfirm the primary symptoms of temperature shift and mucus. There could be other resons for temp fluctuations, like alcohol consumption the night before, stress, illness, the thermometer being warmer than usual, etc. I've only learned to interpret the symptoms for preventing pregnancy, so I don't know how they are approached when TTC. Is it really that important to know the date of ovulation? Couldn't you just have sex everyday during your fertile period for the best chance?
thanks, katze.

My obsession is less about getting pregnant than it is about a fear of infertility. I've been seeing weird things in my temperatures (even after I stopped drinking) and my cervical fluid is generally inconclusive b/c of the cryo I had for pre-cancerous nonsense a few years back.

From what I understand from making the switch from prevention to TTC, you consider your fertile period to be very wide when using FAM for prevention, but that's because you can't predict when ovulation will occur. You're conservative in case you ovulate, not because you're actually fertile. For conceiving, you want to have sex as much as possible (like you said) but you can only get pregnant when ovulation occurs, and that's dependent also on how long the sperm can live in your body. So if you have to plan around crazy work schedules like we do, you want to know what's going on...

QUOTE(katze @ Aug 7 2006, 03:06 AM) *


I have read that ovarian pain is a secondary symptom and should only be considered to reconfirm the primary symptoms of temperature shift and mucus. There could be other resons for temp fluctuations, like alcohol consumption the night before, stress, illness, the thermometer being warmer than usual, etc. I've only learned to interpret the symptoms for preventing pregnancy, so I don't know how they are approached when TTC. Is it really that important to know the date of ovulation? Couldn't you just have sex everyday during your fertile period for the best chance?

Cinegirl...have you tried any ovulation predictor kits? Most of the cheaper ones can be really hard to read, but I've heard the clear blue Easy one works really well. It's pretty expensive, but sometimes you can pick up a used monitor on ebay and then just buy the strips. I haven't really gotten whole hang of temping every day either.
Certainly nothing against the ladies here, but it seems like a lot of people who are for FAM seem to have a low opinion of those who don't want to use it. We're too lazy, too prude to or can't control ourselves. Something I've noticed in other forums.

I've seen charts in a few places, such as the new Our Bodies, Ourselves, the FDA website and at Planned Parenthood with the failure rates of various birthcontrol methods. The number of women (out of 100) who would get pregnant within a year with "perfect" use of most hormonal BC was one. "Perfect" use of FAM was 1-9 women out of 100. "Imperfect" use was something like 5/100 for HBC and 25/100 for FAM.

I do have a lot of interest in FAM, though. My natural/hippie/granola side definitely prefers it to hormonal birthcontrol. However, my childfree side says that the failure rate just isn't cool with us. I know it does work perfectly for some people, just like I know that HBC can fail for numerous reasons. I just feel better with the HBC odds at this point.

I've read studies for FAM that gave perfect use failure statistics of 1 out of 100. Studies are conducted in all sorts of ways and for different reasons. I'm not surprised that planned parenthood would report a study with worse results. I'm mainly disappointed that the knowlege of this method is so repressed in our culture. This method has educated me on my body in ways that I never knew, stuff that I should have known back when I first got my period. I feel so empowered now with this knowledge of how my fertility cycle works and what is going on in there simply by taking my tempurature every morning. I don't judge those who don't use it, but I also don't like closed-mindedness to the method. It really does work and you don't have to be a hippie or a catholic to appreciate it. Personally I'm disturbed by the heavy use and promotion of HBC in our culture. To me this method is terrible for women. It's promoted as the way for a woman to have independence and control of her body, yet it does so by shutting down the reproductive system, one of the natural functions of the female body. HBC promotion is almost saying that a woman can't take charge of her body without denying this fundamental aspect of her womanhood. FAM works with the female body and her natural periods of infertility built into her system. No one will benefit financially from the use of FAM (except the women who save by using it), which is the main reason that it isn't promoted more often. It's sad that women are caught in the middle of desires for large profits by the pharmeceutical industry.
bumped for guitarfiend!
thisxabovexall....I certainly hope you haven't gotten that feeling from this board. Perhaps the attitude you've observed is a backlash against HBC being shoved down women's throats.
Chacha, thanks for bumping this thread for me. I came off HBC a year ago after about 7 years taking it and I'm surprised by how much better I feel now I'm no longer on it, and I want to explore my contraceptive options, not being a big fan of the barrier method.

Anyway. So I talked to the bf about FAM and he understandably has reservations about using it. Even so, I still think I'll start making charts because I want to understand my own cycle better, so I'll probably get the Wechsler book you're all talking about.

Thanks everyone! x
hey girls...i thought you all might find this cool...
Hey gals,

there was a discussion in here last year about charting cervical fluid only vs charting cervical fluid + temps. I announced that I mostly relied on cervical fluid only (though I did track my temps for several months, and then mislaid the thermometer and never got around to finding it again) and that if it failed me, you guys would be among the first to know.

Well, after 3.5 years of successfully avoiding pregnancy...I'm 5 weeks along. My oh-so-conventional MD may have been gloating inside but she was quite professional while she outlined my options. I made sure to tell her that I'd still be successfully un-pregnant if I'd been charting my temps too (since rising temps are an unequivocal sign of ovulating/not ovulating). And 3.5 years is 3.5 years longer than she thought it would work.

We're still processing the whole thing (I just took the pregnancy test on Tues). Might take it as a Sign that we're supposed to have a kid now (we never ruled out kids completely otherwise he'd have gotten a vasectomy), or might not. But I thought I'd better let you ladies know in case anyone who reads this thread was relying on cervical fluid only.

Thanks for that link, moxiegirl. Personally I think the more information teens have about how their bodies work, the better. I hope the Weschlers hammered home just as much info about STDs too - no point in avoiding pregnancy if they'tr exposing themselves to STDs.
bump for lauren
Oh great!
I've just started charting (about a week ago) and already I am so excited about the insight this method will give me to my own body. I bought the two books by Katie Singer and can't put them down. I'm glad I clued onto this method while I'm still young (19) so that I don't have to be blind to what my body is trying to tell me.

I can see now how distorted my views on the pill were and how much better and SAFER I am now that I'm off it.
LZ... I have those books as well!!! I LOVE Katie Singer and she makes it very easy to track. I bought them about 4 1/2 months ago and I've been off the birth control since. I actually just started to follow the Weston A. Price eating as well, but that is a slow progress for me.

I have to say that tracking my cervical fluid and temperature takes all of the guess-work out and it's really great knowing what my body is doing at all times.

I know this thread is from like a year ago but I do believe that if you are only checking your cervical fluid you need to go the extra step and check your temperature as well. Your temperature really helps to let you know where you are at... kind of like having cereal with no milk, or Kool-aid with no sugar... can't have one without the other.
So, there are a number of reasons why non-hormonal birth control, and non-latex birth control, would be the best options for me. However, I have two questions for you FAM-experienced ladies (and then I guess I should read the book):
1. I tried charting my basal body temperature a couple of years ago, and the readings were pretty much all over the map. Are any of you light sleepers? Sleep "hot"? Any suggestions for getting a true reading?
2. My cycle is about 5 weeks, sometimes a bit longer. That shouldn't be a problem, right?
Were you taking your temp the same time everyday? Were you leaving the thermometer long enough?
I suppose if you did it for a few months keeping those two things in mind you would find some sort of a pattern

Long cycles aren't a problem....the books mentioned have tips and tricks on regulating cycles. Once you start to really understand FAM and chart for a while you should be able to figure out what's going on and why smile.gif

I cannot recommend it enough!
Also tree... were you just getting off the pill or any other type of birth control? Sometimes a few months of getting off those your temperatures will be totally crazy because your body has to go back to regulating itself. I know my temperatures were nuts when I first started charting and they are just now getting back into a semi-normal state. I was on birth control pills for about 11 or 12 years, I know my body was totally confused when I decided to quit.

Light sleeping isn't a problem either and they talk about that in the books as well. You just do the best you can to try to take a reading around the same time every morning. You may also find that you have a thyroid issue if you are having so much trouble sleeping, but taking your temperature every day will help you to determine any of those possibilities.

I wake up pretty early to go to the bathroom and I found that it's around the same time every morning so I wake up around 3am to take a good temperature and then back to sleep for me! You just need to find a time that works out right for you. Taking your temperature at sporadic times will not give you a consistent reading.
There's one thing I'm having trouble figuring out, since most sites out there are to help you conceive, not avoid conception. Since BBT only tells you that you've already ovulated, and you need to give 5 days without sex to account for sperm life, how do you know when to stop having sex, until it's already too late? Is it just based on past patterns? Because that doesn't seem quite safe enough, to me.
Angie_21, there is no way to tell before you are going to ovulate. Going by past cycles is really unsafe and not effective because every month you could be different. You can only tell afterwards that you've ovulated but before, nothing.
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