An unplanned pregnancy can be stressful and life-changing. While artificial contraceptives like birth control pills or condoms are effective, some women prefer to avoid pregnancy naturally. Here are some tips:
Understand Your Menstrual Cycle
The first step is understanding your menstrual cycle. There are only about 6 days per cycle when you can get pregnant – your fertile window. This is when an egg is released from your ovaries and can be fertilized.
- Track your periods to identify when you ovulate. Ovulation usually happens about 14 days before your next period.
- Look out for signs like changes in cervical mucus and basal body temperature. This can help pinpoint your fertile days.
Avoiding sex during your fertile window is an effective way to prevent pregnancy naturally.
Use Fertility Awareness Methods
Fertility awareness methods involve tracking fertility signals to identify your fertile days. Popular options include:
- Natural family planning – Track basal body temperature and cervical mucus changes. Abstain or use barriers during fertile times.
- Sympto-thermal method – Combines BBT tracking with observation of cervical mucus to detect ovulation.
- Calendar method – Tracks past menstrual cycles to predict fertile days.
Using these techniques properly lets you avoid pregnancy naturally by preventing intercourse during your fertile window.
The withdrawal or pull-out method involves withdrawing the penis before ejaculation to prevent sperm from entering the vagina.
- Must be timed perfectly – Precum can sometimes contain sperm.
- Higher failure rate than other natural options.
- Can be used in combination with fertility awareness methods.
Withdrawal is free and convenient but requires practice, self-control and good timing.
Try Sperm-Friendly Lubricants
Some lubricants can harm sperm and reduce their motility. Using sperm-friendly lubricants may lower chances of pregnancy.
- Avoid lubricants with spermicides like nonoxynol-9 which are designed to kill sperm.
- Look for natural, pH-balanced lubes that don’t harm sperm.
- Can be used in combination with fertility awareness and withdrawal.
Sperm-friendly lubes may provide extra protection but should not be the sole means of avoiding pregnancy.
Abstinence During Fertile Times
The only 100% effective natural method is abstinence from intercourse during the fertile window, especially close to expected ovulation.
- Requires diligent cycle tracking and discipline.
- Consider non-penetrative intimacy during fertile times.
- Can be combined with barrier methods during fertile days.
Well-timed abstinence prevents pregnancy without side effects. But it requires effort, communication with your partner and may not work for all couples.
The natural methods above can effectively prevent pregnancy when used properly. Understand your body, track your cycle, and use combinations of techniques for best results. Being informed is key for natural planning. Consult your doctor and use other contraceptives if these methods do not suit your lifestyle.