If you are trying to engage in healthy habits and if you are concerned about the long-term fertility impacts of hormonal birth control methods, it is helpful to have a relative scale of awareness about the natural and safer birth control options, always at your disposal.
Effective Natural Birth Control Methods
Natural birth control is achieved by using a combination of three methods which includes, recording the basal body temperature, calculating the early, preovulatory infertile times with formulas from the rhythm system and observing and charting the cervical mucus, which changes noticeably during the monthly cycle.1
Recording the Basal Body Temperature
This is a way to pinpoint the day of ovulation so that sex can be avoided for a few days before and after. It involves taking the basal body temperature (your temperature upon first waking) each morning with an accurate “basal” thermometer, and noting the rise in temperature that occurs
The Rhythm Method
The rhythm method, also called the calendar method or the fertility awareness method (FAM), is a way to prevent pregnancy by taking advantage of the natural cycle of fertility. It requires an understanding of the body’s natural ovulation cycle. To use the rhythm method, you should track your menstrual history for predicting the time of ovulation. This helps you determine when you’re most likely to conceive. Hence you can decide the days to refrain from unprotected intercourse.2
The Mucus Method
Variations in the position, firmness and openness of the cervix can be helpful in determining the fertility. Cervical mucus becomes thinner when a woman ovulates, in order to facilitate sperm access to the released egg. Tracking changes in the amount and texture of vaginal discharge, which reflect rising levels of estrogen in the body, can allow women to monitor their fertility. According to the World Health Organization, 93% of women everywhere can identify cervical mucus symptoms, which distinguish adequately between the
Herbs are also highly effective at reducing fertility in order to naturally and safely prevent pregnancy. Some herbs may affect the ovary, while others act upon the uterus, affect normal hormone production or block certain hormones. Some herbs also have the ability to interfere with implantation and are useful as an emergency contraceptive. A few of these herbs are as follows:
Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota)
Also known as wild carrot, Queen Anne’s Lace can be used as a herbal contraceptive for women. One of the biggest advantages of this particular herb is that it can be taken on as needed basis, making it useful for women who have sex infrequently. Research suggests that terpenoids in the seed block crucial progesterone synthesis in pregnant animals, which disrupts the implantation process, or if a fertilized egg has implanted for only a short period, it will cause the egg to be released.4
How To Use
- Eat 1 teaspoon of seeds within eight hours of unprotected intercourse.
- Eat 1 teaspoon daily for a week.
- The seeds should be thoroughly chewed, for maximum effectiveness.
Neem is a safe and very effective contraceptive. Neem can be used in three different forms for birth control -neem leaves, neem oil and neem leaf extract. Neem oil kills sperm in the vagina within 30 seconds and remains active for five hours. It causes no irritation or discomfort like the chemical based spermicidal foams do. In addition neem oil acts as a lubricant and it may also offer some protection from vaginal and sexually transmitted diseases.
How to Use
To prevent pregnancy, use water based vaginal lubricant with ten-percent neem oil added. Apply before intercourse to give the surface of the vaginal wall time to become coated with the material. If there was no neem lubricant available during intercourse applying the lubricant soon after intercourse will prevent implantation.5
Papaya is the fruit of choice for natural birth control. Unripe papaya has been used traditionally to prevent or terminate pregnancy. A ripe papaya cannot be used as it loses the phytochemicals that interfere with hormones. The papaya seeds can kill sperms, hence a daily intake of papaya seeds can decrease the sperm count in a healthy male. According to research, the seeds of Carica papaya have been experimentally found to inhibit spermatogenesis in males.6
There are several other herbs, which have partially or in combination with other natural birth control methods, reported to be similarly effective as a contraceptive. However, we have omitted them merely due to the lack of potential research regarding their efficacy.
|↑1||A cooperative method of natural birth control. 3rd ed, Knowledge For Health, USAID|
|↑2||Calender or Rhythm Method, Fertility UK|
|↑3||”Natural family planning”: effective birth control supported by the Catholic Church-R E Ryder.1993.|
|↑4||Riddle, John M., 1997. Eve’s
|↑5||Upadhyay, Shakti N.,
|↑6||Sinha, Rajiv K., and G. S. Nathawat. “Anti-fertility effects of some plants used by the street herbal vendors for birth control.” Ancient science of life9.2 (1989): 66.|