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Forum: Natural Family Planning and FAM

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  #1  
May 31st, 2009, 08:25 PM
aubbydobby
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Hello!

I'm Aubri, I followed Rachel (geogeek) to here from another board. I hope that's okay! My story is an interesting one. I've been on BCP since I was sixteen. I was diagnosed with endometriosis... I've never had the surgery, so that's not a 100% for sure diagnosis. At any rate, I've been on every variety of BCP on the market, and the only one that worked was Seasonique... the rest all gave me side effects that were unbearable. With Seasonique, the price tag is unbearable. I just lost one of my jobs, and I'm putting DH through school. I'm tired of being on hormones, and we're planning on TTC next year. I want to make sure my cycles are going okay before we try... so... here I am!

I know that NFP/FAM are great, low-cost, side effect free ways of going about this. I really like that. BUT... I have no idea where to start. I've never charted, and I hardly ever kept track of my cycles before. I don't even know how long my cycles are.

Would you all mind helping me get started? Do you have any advice or things I should know before trying? I'm on my last week of pills (the one where you have your period) but they aren't sugar pills, they actually DO have hormone in them. I figured I'd take them and then not buy another pack. I don't have a lot of $$ (or any, really) to spend on online courses or things like that. I want to do this, and I want to do it right, but I can't spend any money. Any ideas or thoughts? Thanks in advance for the help, everyone!
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  #2  
May 31st, 2009, 08:54 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Welcome to the board! I'm Shawna, host and resident NFP Instructor (Billings Ovulation Method).

To answer your question, items 1-4 of this article may interest you. It's written by a charting instructor and is NFP-related, not FAM.

Five Things I Wish You Knew

The one thing I do emphasize over and over around here is the importance of taking an actual NFP or FAM course from a certified instructor. It's very easy to learn the theory of NFP or FAM, not so easy to figure out how that will apply to you in real life - because every woman is unique, every cycle is unique! Having the personalized support of an instructor will make a world of difference, especially as your body sorts itself out after the Pill. Taking the time to learn it properly in the first place will save you a lot of confusion in the long run. It's definitely worth the investment of your time because knowing how to monitor your fertility is a skill you can use for the rest of your reproductive life. You can use it to avoid pregnancy, to achieve pregnancy, and to monitor your health.

Most instructors will waive their teaching fees if you cannot afford them at this time. That applies to the BOM online course/instructor support too - though I'm not sure about the other online courses. After 3 months off the Pill, you could also participate in the study that Rachel is a part of. That's free and they are looking for more participants! Marquette U. seeks Participants for NFP Study Natural Family Planning

Also, take a moment to read through the FAQ and Resource Stickies. If you still have unanswered questions after that, don't hesitate to ask!
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Last edited by ShawnaCAN; May 31st, 2009 at 09:00 PM.
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  #3  
May 31st, 2009, 11:11 PM
SavaAngel's Avatar Mama to AJ & Katie
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Money was tight when we started NFP and I didn't want to go back on the pill. I did the BOM course online and I was able to waive the fee for a few months. And then when money was a little better we paid the fee. It was nice to know I had an instructor following everything on my chart and helping me along the way. I have been charting with my instructor for 2+ years now (both to avoid and to get pregnant) and she is still there for me.

I highly recommend BOM - no temping necessary.
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  #4  
June 1st, 2009, 12:34 AM
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I'd read 'Taking Charge of Your Fertility' to start with, but do recommend you see an instructor. They are great at explaining things and answering lots of questions.
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  #5  
June 1st, 2009, 03:28 AM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Shawna, thanks for posting about that study. I had no idea about it and I think I'd really like to participate! Can I register now and start participating after 3 months, or do I have to wait until I've been off the pill for 3 months to register?
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Last edited by MaggieLizer; June 1st, 2009 at 03:40 AM.
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  #6  
June 1st, 2009, 07:35 AM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would email Dr. Fehring and ask: richard.fehring@marquette.edu

Bear in mind, this is an NFP study. Weren't you interested in doing FAM? Using barriers on days of fertility instead of abstinence would compromise the data and could possibly skew the results of the study if pregnancy results from barrier failure.
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Last edited by ShawnaCAN; June 1st, 2009 at 07:46 AM.
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  #7  
June 1st, 2009, 08:07 AM
aubbydobby
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Thank you so much for the info! I did e-mail Dr. Fehring about some questions I had about the study. Shawna, since you're an instructor, how does one get started on the method you teach? I don't think there are any instructors in my area at all. How does that work, anyway? I'm sorry if I'm asking a million questions. I did read over the info in the stickies, and on the sites... but I think I may have gotten a severe case of information overload, and now I'm all kinds of confused.
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  #8  
June 1st, 2009, 08:33 AM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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With the method I teach, the best way to get started is to take the online course if there are no local instructors. It will take you through everything step by step.

You'll start by reading a basic introduction to how the method works, and then get instructions on how to chart. You'll be paired up with a teacher via email. You will also get logged in to an online charting thing that allows your instructor to access your chart. Then you get charting for 2-4 weeks. There is no genital contact during that time (all NFP and FAM methods recommend that when you start). It's so you can master the skill of observing your cervical mucus properly, without fluids related to intercourse or arousal to confuse things.
Then you'll go over the chart with the instructor to make sure you're doing it correctly and to make sure you understand the rules before resuming genital contact again. You'll review your charting every few weeks or a month with the teacher until you are fully confident with the method.
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  #9  
June 1st, 2009, 10:41 AM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnaCAN View Post
I would email Dr. Fehring and ask: richard.fehring@marquette.edu

Bear in mind, this is an NFP study. Weren't you interested in doing FAM? Using barriers on days of fertility instead of abstinence would compromise the data and could possibly skew the results of the study if pregnancy results from barrier failure.

Thanks! I e-mailed him and I am planning on registering for it in July.

We were going with FAM basically to keep our options open during fertile times because we have no problem with using a barrier method. However, we rarely DTD as it is (we haven't at all since I have started charting) so the abstaining part of NFP shouldn't be a problem for us at all.
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  #10  
June 1st, 2009, 10:55 AM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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There ya go! As long as you're clear about that part, sounds like you are!
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  #11  
June 2nd, 2009, 02:25 PM
LJD3Tdance's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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GL!
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  #12  
June 3rd, 2009, 07:13 PM
..Penelope..'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hi, Aubri! I'm glad to see you here
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  #13  
June 3rd, 2009, 09:21 PM
aubbydobby
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Hi Penelope!!! I'm glad to be here!
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  #14  
June 4th, 2009, 07:31 AM
geogeek's Avatar Marsi's Mommy
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How did I miss this! It is good to have you here Aubri! Good luck with whatever method you choose!
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  #15  
June 4th, 2009, 07:40 AM
aubbydobby
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:-) Thanks!
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