This week we are joined by Victoria Jennings, Ph.D. Victoria is an anthropologist and she specializes in reproductive health. She directs the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University.
We’re talking about natural methods of family planning.
Victoria developed Cycle Beads – an easy to use, totally natural tool that makes it much easier to use natural family planning to predict ovulation and either prevent or plan a pregnancy.
Cycle Beads are also useful for women to use not as a birth control device but to be more aware of their cycle. Young women just starting their cycle could use them to educate themselves.
Studies have found that many people who choose natural family planning do so because it has no worrisome side effects.
Dr. Jennings says that the failure rate of using Cycle Beads is about 5%.
Women who have irregular cycles may not want to use Cycle Beads, but the majority of women can use them quite effectively.
Moms who are nursing notice that breastfeeding has an effect on their cycle. It may take months or longer for fertility to return when a mom is nursing her baby. She needs to have had 4 periods after the birth of her baby before she begins using Cycle Beads for best results. And, her most recent cycle needs to have been between 26 – 32 days.
There are a few different methods that fall under the umbrella of natural family planning. Dr. Jennings explains the differences between the calendar method, the Billings method, the two-day method, and others.
Dr. Jennings notes that natural methods are “couple” methods. Communication and clear agreements are required for it to work successfully. Advocates of NFP say it brings a couple closer because they have to modify their sexual behavior. If one party is not willing to participate in the process, NFP may not be the best method for them.
While there may be no hard science to prove this, it’s logical to think that NFP has a positive impact on a couple since it opens dialogue about their sexuality and their relationship.