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October 14, 2010

Contraceptive Alternatives – Periodic Abstinence

Birth control pills are the most popular method of contraception but with the side effects they cause on some women it may be beneficial to try different methods. Periodic abstinence is a method of pregnancy prevention that includes coitus inturruptus, lactational amenorrhea, and natural family planning. These names may sound complicated but these are probably methods you have heard of already, just under different titles.

Coitus Inturruptus – This method is often referred to as the withdrawal or pull-out method. This consists of withdrawal of the entire penis before ejaculation. This prevents fertilization by preventing contact of sperm and the ovum. Pulling-out is a very commonly used method. The effectiveness of this method depends on the man’s ability to pull out before ejaculation. It is said to be 94 percent effective if done correctly. Normally because it is difficult to perfect this method, it is only 19 percent effective. On the bright side this method is available at any time for no cost and no devices or chemicals involved. The biggest disadvantage is the high probability of pregnancy .

Lactational Amenorrhea – This method restrains ovulation because breast feeding changes the body’s physiology. No egg means no pregnancy! This method if used to perfection has 99.5 percent effectiveness in the first 6 months of use. Normally the rate of effectiveness is only 98 percent. The advantages of using this method include the disappearance of ovulation, it doesn’t interfere with intercourse, there are no side effects, it is free, and it gives infants immunity! Along with this method there are various disadvantages. You must breastfeed the baby 6-10 times a day which can be untimely. You should not use this method if the mother has been diagnosed with HIV.

Natural Family Planning – This is one of the most widely used methods of fertility regulation, especially for people whose religious and cultural beliefs prevent them from using drugs or devices for contraception. This method includes periodic abstinence in which couples abstain from sex in the woman’s fertile period. Using one of 3 methods the fertile period is determined (the 3 methods are the calendar method, cervical mucus method, and spermatozoa). This method is approximately 75 percent effective. The best thing about this method is that there are no side effects because there are no hormones. This method is the only usable method for those with strict cultural and religious policies. Natural family planning doesn’t have any lasting effects on the woman’s fertility.

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