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Hello, I'm Resi and have been a lurker on & off on NFM & FAM. I have been charting since Feb. 06 and DH withdraws EVERY time we have sex. So far we have been using this "method" for 2 years without a pregnancy. We are currently waiting to have a baby but would be okay if it happened sooner. I learned to chart from JM, reading TCOYF, and other online websites. I'm not sure if what we do is NFP or FAM. Maybe it's not really either.
My question is - How long can sperm stay alive once it's outside of the body. For instance on my stomach or in the general "area"? I have read conflicting things online. From what I remember it only stays alive for a few seconds. Is that correct?
FAM refers to using a fertility chart to determine when and how a couple has sex in order to reduce the chances of conception (using barriers/withdrawal/spermicide during times of fertility and having natural intercourse during times of infertility, for example). If the charting doesn't really play a role in determining when or how you BD, then you're essentially just using withdrawal - because it would all be the same whether you charted or not, right? But charting is still hugely valuable in order to understand your body, monitor your health, and all that!
NFP is when sex is avoided completely during times of fertility, and natural sex is enjoyed during times of infertility. What NFP and FAM have in common is charting, what separates them is how that information is used. NFP = no sex when fertile (next to impossible to conceive), FAM = some form of protection when fertile, but the charting allows the couple freedom to enjoy natural sex during the infertile part of the cycle instead of having to use something all the time. The effectiveness rates are different too, so that's another big thing that separates them. NFP and FAM can both be used to conceive as well, so that's what separates them from all other forms of Family Planning - because everything else is about avoiding pregnancy only, NFP/FAM is about both - avoiding and achieving, the couple can use the charting information however they like according to their intentions.
Does that clear up the difference a bit?
To answer your question, sperm cells only live about 20-30 minutes (at the most) when they are not in contact with cervical mucus. "Contact pregnancy" can occur if seminal fluid comes in contact with your cervical mucus outside your body, because the mucus will transport the sperm cells inside. This is pretty darn rare, but it's possible.
Thank you! I chart to understand my body. We use withdrawal because my husband feels more comfortable pulling out every time at this point. Thanks for clearing all of that up for me.
I wanted to add that there was some semen in my general area and when I went to the bathroom and wiped.. He pulled out in time but got it near the area.. well I didn't know if it could be possible but I though it might be. I'm guessing not very likely. But it was a when I was fertile.