Natural family planning – you’ve heard the one about the people who use that, right? They’re called parents. No, I hadn’t heard that a million times! The truth is that there is a family planning method – let’s not call it birth control or contraceptive, which it’s not – which is natural, safe, easy to use, approved by all (most?) faith groups and shockingly effective. (Parental advisory – this is likely not appropriate for any pre-pubescent children.)
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One thing needs to be established right off the bat, though. Natural Family Planning is not “the rhythm method”.
The female body is rather amazing in its design. We have built in signs that indicate exactly when we ovulate and are fertile. Years ago, before I had any of my children, I learned about Natural Family Planning and I was absolutely astounded. It almost seemed too good to be true.
There are three main signs, and they are easy to learn and understand.
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Basal Body Temperature
This is a woman’s body temperature in the morning before she engages in any activity. (Yes, before going to pee!) Ideally, it is taken at the same time every morning after a full night’s sleep. In practice, it can be taken after a minimum of three hour’s sleep.
The basal body temperature drops during menstruation and rises during ovulation.
It’s that simple.
The temperature difference is very tiny, though, from 0.4-1 degree Fahrenheit and special thermometers have been designed to read these small variations.
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