Let’s talk about SEX! Yes, I said it. I hope we are all adult enough to not blush and hide at the idea of discussing this. Surprisingly, this is a topic that I am asked about almost every single day.
You may or may not know this but I have not taken prescription birth control since I was in college. I contributed a lot of weight gain to the birth control pills I was subscribed by my doctor. In addition to weight gain, I also believe that birth control pills are often prescribed to address symptoms (like cramping, spotting, irregular periods and acne) instead of the underlying causes of the symptoms.
Many birth control pills contain high levels of estrogen that effectively convince your pituitary gland that you are pregnant (this explains some of the side effects of the drugs) and that you don’t need to ovulate. Because your body thinks you are pregnant, the uterine lining thickens. Once you start the placebo pills, however, your estrogen level drops suddenly, and your body menstruates “normally.”
Some physical and emotional changes take place that are permanent while you stay on the pill. Many of these changes occur as your body’s response to synthetic estrogen.
- Larger breasts
- Weight gain or loss
- Reduced or increased acne
- Slight nausea
- Emotional sensitivity right before your period
- Mood swings throughout your cycle
- Irregular bleeding or spotting
- Breast tenderness
- Decreased libido
The above side effects might be enough to deter some women from taking birth control, but many women are just not aware of them, while others justify the side effects because the pill is so convenient.
But imagine taking your birth control pill, feeling depressed and then taking an antidepressant to handle your mood swings and hypersensitivity. Adding an antidepressant could then contribute to even lower libido, which would surely be noticed by you and your partner.
My point is that birth control pills are a prescription drug with very real ramifications on your overall health.
Now that I’ve explained why I decided to stop taking prescription birth control, I am going to share the holistic and more natural birth control methods I use. Obviously, I am not having sex because I did just have a baby less than four weeks ago BUT once I have given my body enough time to heal properly (normally 6 weeks), I am going to with my husband. Intimacy is needed in a relationship between a husband and wife. I don’t know many people who have chosen not to have sex in their marriage and remained happy. I am not saying this is the deciding factor of what a healthy marriage is but I can personally say that when my husband and I are able to connect on that level, we groove better.
There a few forms of natural birth control that I recommend. I will also say, to each his own with what you decide would work best for you and your family. I am choosing to use the following because it’s what I feel most comfortable with.
The most popular form of natural birth control is Natural Family Planning (NFP). This practice limits sexual intercourse to naturally infertile periods; including portions of the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and after menopause. Another secular term for this practice is Fertility Awareness or some still call it Natural Family Planning. With the practice of Natural Family Planning, I am going to also wear a Ava bracelet. Ava is a clinically tested device that uses sensor technology to reveal what’s really happening with your cycle—whether you’re trying to conceive, pregnant, or just want to better understand your body. Worn only during sleep, Ava eliminates the guesswork around tracking your cycle.
The secondary form of birth control that we will be incorporating into the line up and the one that I am sure most husbands or partners DO NOT want to do are condoms. Most name brand condom brands are actually quite toxic so I have found a few vegan and organic brands with out all the yuck ingredients. Sustain Natural not only carries condoms but they also make pads, tampons, wipes and underwear that are free from toxic chemicals. Gylde America has a range of products that you can use in the bedroom including condoms, dams and personal lubricants.
The last form of birth control that I will be implementing into our bedroom line up is ContraGel + a Fem Cap. ContraGel is not a spermicide. To be classed as a spermicide, a product must contain Nonoxynol-9, a chemical that effectively kills sperm. Of course, ContraGel was formulated to be body and earth friendly and therefore does not contain N-9. Consequently, ContraGel is not classed as a spermicide, but a contraceptive gel. ContraGel is interdependent with the barrier contraceptive it is applied to. The ingredient methyl cellulose gives ContraGel is thick viscous consistency, and when applied to the barrier contraceptive it creates a second physical barrier to prevent sperm from entering the cervix. ContraGel also effects the PH level of the vagina. Vaginal PH is critical to allowing sperm to travel up into the cervix. ContraGel alters the PH of the vagina and creates an inhospitable environment for sperm.
The last question I want to address is “how do you get intimate with your husband when you cosleep with your children?” Simple, go to another bedroom. You have an entire house to yourselves! Don’t limit yourself to your bed that you cosleep in. We often have our time right after the kids go to sleep so we don’t get interrupted by anyone randomly waking up!
I hope this has answered your questions about natural forms of birth control and our sex life with four kids! If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask AND if you are currently using a natural or holistic form of birth control that I did not mention, please share!