Have you thought about practicing the sympto-thermal method but it just seems to hard? Have you even learned but have been too intimidated to start?
Every single newbie to the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness is intimidated.
Ok, Maybe not everyone, but pretty much everyone. I have decided that this is actually due to the nature of it being in your control and not that it really take that much more time or has more rules. Let me explain.
What you have to do to learn the sympto-thermal method and your daily practice
In order to use the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness correctly, you first read a book or take a class. My class is about 3-4 hours of video long. Reading only the essentials in a good book is about 70 pages.
You keep a chart (or some written record) in order to refer back a few days so that your memory doesn’t fail you.
You have to take about 30 seconds jotting down a couple of observations you made while you were using the bathroom, and one you got while getting a few extra snuggles in bed. Sounds ok, right?
A very simple way to remember everything is keeping it by your bed. 30 seconds in the morning, 30 seconds at night. if you are are new or needing another sign, you might choose to examine your cervix, perhaps before you shower. If you are charting for other reasons, you may keep records of a couple more signs so that you know your body and moods better.
Now, I don’t recommend this, but if you are an experienced user you can also take short-cuts and not chart in your menstrual or post-ovulatory phases. I don’t really like it just because I think it is better to get in a daily habit AND I think it is more fun for body awareness and gauging hormonal health to have FULL records.
So, other than the once a cycle of printing/copying a new chart and filling out the day of the week and date that is about your upkeep. If you choose a digital thermometer you will have the change the battery every so often.
Let’s move on, shall we?
What you have to do to prep for and continue use of the pill
What you may think of as the simplest and the “gold standard” is the typical birth control pill. Let’s begin with acquiring the little orbs wrapped in plastic. You have to visit your gynecologist, have an ever so lovely pap smear, make sure you aren’t already pregnant, the whole she-bang.
Your gynecologist will give you some info on our new method of contraception and give you a prescription. You will have to take it to the pharmacy, fill it, and pay money, that you spent time earning, on it. Woo-hoo! You have acquired just the pill you wanted (sure it shuts down one of the functions of our healthy body, but you don’t want that function right now, anyway, and you trust doctors enough to know that they can shut down a system and it won’t effect us in other ways, right? RIGHT?!).
Ok, so that is the whole getting it program. I’d say it may be semi-comprable in time to learning sympto-thermal, probably a bit more expensive, though.
So, duty calls, and you take your pills daily. Grab a pill (let’s hope you always carry them with you), grab a glass of beverage (let’s hope it’s not hormone free milk, because that would just be… Wrong), down it. Simple enough, just don’t miss any days, or you have to deal with this:
Can I get an “eww!”? No thanks, you have to refer back to this crap when you miss a pill (and everyone does). A lot of women don’t even get this info when they begin taking combined oral contraceptives (which is totally different than the mini-pill, and if you take that at the wrong time you’re pretty screwed).
So yes, this daily part is the simplest, just don’t miss a day!
Next, let’s look at the “upkeep”. You have to keep going to the gyno periodically, getting your script (not to mention if you are trying new pill varieties because one or the other aren’t working for you), and paying for it all!
The money, oh they money! Let’s hope you are at a jobs you love so that you aren’t working at something you hate, for money you have to make to buy something you don’t actually need.
Other considerations when taking the pill
Next, I suppose I need to touch on the “after effects”. Yes, there are the side effects.
You may have dealt with the lower quality of life in order to not have a kid for a while, but coming off the contraceptive might be another thing entirely, re-regulating your cycle so that you can get pregnant, not deal with menstrual issues, etc.
So, yes, taking a pill daily may be easy, but if you forget, things may become more difficult. You also have to add in the money you spend and the side effects you may not like. With the sympto-thermal method, you get added good things, whereas, with other methods you get drawbacks.
Personally, I will take something that has the potential to be a bit more complicated (though, as you can probably tell, I don’t think that is true) and have an onslaught of good come into my life, as well as control over my own body.