My Favorite Natural Family Planning Solution

I have never talked about birth control or fertility here because it is first and foremost a food blog. But it’s not out of line with natural, healthy living, which ultimately, is what this is all about. But first, I want to tell you about the serious challenges I’ve had over the years with birth control, and the wonderful drug-free solution that I’ve found, and been using, for years. The great news is that whether you are trying to get pregnant or avoid getting pregnant, this solution will work for you.

I have been using the Lady Comp for pregnancy prevention for 4 years now and I feel so blessed that someone took the time to share this method of contraception with me. I have intentionally not gotten pregnant for the last 4 years (with no false scares), all through the use of this amazing device. It has had such an impact in my life, and my hope is that it will help one of you too. If what I’m about to share today even helps one person from following the path I did, it’s so worth it.

My Lady-Comp

>

Now, why should I be so blessed to be introduced to a $485.00 thermometer/computer? Ok, a pretty crazy cool thermometer thing-a-majiggy, but still expensive, right?

Not really. (I’ve included some of the math that helped me make my decision and to show you that it’s actually cheaper, over the long run, than many common forms of birth control, like the pill. Also most of my previous methods of birth control were subsidized, so the reduced cost is noted, but some of you may be paying a lot more).

I should mention that dropping 485 bucks was not an easy thing for me to do. I did not have a lot of money at the time and in reality I had to charge it to my credit card to make it happen then. Embarrassing for me to admit, but its true. I was fresh out of school and I was carrying $60,000 in student loan debt. Adding more debt to the equation was no small thing. Was it worth it for me? Absolutely.

But first, let me give you some background information into my past challenges with birth control. They’ll help clarify why I took the leap, and why the Lady Comp is worth a look.

My History With Birth Control:

 

Depo-Provera (cost $33 quarterly = $132/ year or $660 for 5 years)

Let’s go back a few years to the time when I was using other methods of contraception. I first tried Depo-Provera, which is an injectable hormonal contraceptive that gets re-injected every 3 months.  I don’t have the best memory at the best of times, so something I only had to think about every three months sounded good. But…

My period stopped completely.

Every year I went into the doctor’s office for an annual check up. I would say, “Are you certain I should still be on this? Not getting a period can’t be normal? Should I get off of this for a year at a time every once and a while?”

They always responded with a self-assured, “No.” They claimed it was perfectly safe. I was young, dumb and believed what doctors told me.

The Bike Accident


A bike accident several years later lead to a broken collarbone. A broken bone that was not only very painful since, like most people, I use my arms a lot, but after 2 months there was no healing. After 4 months, only a very little amount of healing had happened. What was going on?

Around this time, I switched to a lovely lady physician in her early thirties. On my return to her office around month 4 (since the fracture was not healing), she started to look at my history. When she found out how long I had been taking Depo she almost hit the roof. She sent me off immediately for a bone density scan. I was diagnosed with Osteopenia (low bone density). Not surprising, since this happens to be the most severe and common side effect of the drug. Hence the reason it was taking so long to heal a fracture.

This happens to be a well-known side effect of Depo-Provera and it is now not recommended that any patient be on it for more than 2 years. I was on it for 7! Funny no one thought to mention it. It took a year to heal 1 broken bone. Imagine if I had been in a bad car accident. I shudder to think what might have happened. I was so lucky it was only 1 bone! Just thinking about it brings about a baby throw up in my mouth.

(note: I have been fortunate to regain normal bone density since discontinuing this form of contraception. However it did take several years. Large sigh of relief! This is not necessarily typical.)

Birth Control Pills ($12/ month = $144/ year or $720 for 5 years)

Next down memory lane, birth control pills. What a freakin’ nightmare. I mean really. I’m emotional enough without added hormonal imbalances that are so common with modern birth control pills. One brand after another, they were all disasters. Some of them just made me feel crazy. But the real problem was that most of them made subtle changes in my behavior. An increase in feeling mad or sad, more and more. I never really associated it with the pill at the time, but rather thought it was life circumstances. But it was the pill. Want to know what the worst part was? I was paying for it. Literally. I was paying to feel sad, volatile and mad. Every single month. Now that’s crazy.

Copper IUD ($90-$160 every 5 years, if you can handle it, read below)

We’re not done yet, ladies. Memory lane takes me to the copper IUD. I think I just heard an audible gasp from the universe as I admit to this out loud. By this point in my life, I was suffering from depression and sever insomnia. I didn’t want to put any more drugs in my body. I was desperately looking for a solution.

With a 160 million woman using this form of contraception all over the world, what could be so bad? Sure, IN THEORY, it might not be, but it was one of the most excruciating experiences of my life. The IUD caused so much pain. Not just during my monthly period but all the time. I was taking so many painkillers to just live my life that it was really counter productive to not wanting to put more drugs in my body. The doctors kept saying, “Wait it out. It’s just an adjustment period.” I removed it after 5 months. I simply couldn’t take any more pain. Here’s the irony. Before then I had never had a painful period. Since removing the IUD, they all are. That’s what you get for messing with something that was designed perfect in the first place!

The Lady Comp – My Birth Control Solution

The train stops here. This is where my journey ends. A conversation with a friend lead me to the Lady Comp website where I read:

  • “A woman can only get pregnant on six days during each menstrual cycle: five days before ovulation and on the day she ovulates.
    This is a relatively short period of time and bears no relation to the considerable health damages many women expose their body to day in and day out, only to prevent a pregnancy during those six days.”

Now that hit a button for me. If I new what those six days were, why would I need anything else? And not just knowing what those 6 days were, like guessing and marking it on a calendar (not that this would work for me because as previously discussed, my memory sucks), but rather really knowing with reasonable accuracy. The accuracy rate of the Lady Comp device is 99.3 %. Not bad. Not bad at all. I continued to read:

  • “Based on your morning temperature, taken orally, the fertility computer determines your fertile days and shows you when you are ovulating by recording, analyzing and storing your menstrual cycle data. It determines your daily status of fertility and will alert you on the days when intercourse may lead to pregnancy: on the day you ovulate – and five days before ovulation.”

So, instead of putting drugs or foreign objects in my body, all I have to do is take my temperature and follow the computer? I’m listening.

How It Works

Do your own research to make your own decision, but for those of you who are curious, the device is about 5 inches in diameter and about an inch thick. It’s just slightly larger then the palm of my hand.

I also use it as my alarm clock. When my alarm goes off, I take my oral temperature (I get asked “Where?” all the time when I tell my friends about it” LOL). It registers it, puts in into the memory and tracks my cycles and when I’m ovulating. I get a yellow light or a red light warning me not to have intercourse. On green light days, it’s a go!

But How Effective Is it?

Now my major concern was effectiveness, as I’m sure it is for most women using birth control methods. This page has a chart that is quite helpful in comparing all the different types and their effectiveness, but the bottom line is that it is 100% natural and has a 99.3% effectiveness.

I have been using it for 4 years and have intentionally never gotten pregnant because of it. It still works like a charm and has not had a single problem. This is probably to my mother-in-law’s dismay (she’d love some more grandbabies), but all in due time. For now we are happy where we are.

I can’t even tell you how happy my husband is that I won’t end up in traction for a year due to broken bones if something bad were to happen to me, that we both don’t suffer from my drug induced emotional out bursts anymore, and that I no longer wake up everyday in agony from the IUD. The best feeling of all is that I feel in control, and I have to say this was not present with any of the others. Control and relief might be a better way of describing it.

France Morissette

Trying To Get Pregnant?

Even if you’re trying to have babies, they have software for that too. It basically works exactly the same but in reverse. If you want to make a baby, just have it on those days. They also make a special version for people that struggle with reduced fertility or are interested in gender planning.

Think For Yourself

As you can see it is definitely not the most expensive form of birth control on the market, and over the course of 5 years makes a lot of sense. That’s not even taking into account the health repercussions of all the other ones. There’s no way I could include enough information in this post to help you make a decision as to whether this is right for you or not. But I do hope it spurs some interest in researching it further. You can find out more about the Lady Comp and other women’s experiences with it right here.

“To find yourself, think for yourself.” – Socrates, 460 B.C.

 

I’m sharing this with Real Food 101, Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, My Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesday, This Chick Cooks, Allergy Free Wednesdays, The Tasty Alternative, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter ThursdayFriday Food Flicks, Freaky Friday, and Fight Back Friday.

35 Responses to My Favorite Natural Family Planning Solution

  1. Alicia May 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Wonderful! I am 51 years old…and used Natural Fertility Awareness for my entire fertile life….But 30 years ago we didn’t have anything this fancy…just a thermometer, and I was lucky enough to love old bookstores, and found a great book published in the 60’s or 70’s by some forward thinking person….that described Natural Fertility Awareness in detail. In 30 years, I had not a single false alarm, no unwanted pregnancies, and was able to conceive both of my children in the first month of trying at exactly the interval I wanted them….pretty good record I’d say. And now…because I have not flooded my body with artificial hormones for 30 years, I am blessed to be totally in touch with my body, still have my uterus, and be flowing smoothly towards menopause…still with regular normal periods. At the time many of my friends thought I was crazy…”why not use those modern, convenient methods” but I listened to my intuition….And am so grateful I did.
    Congratulations of discussing this, and I hope more young women will make this choice.

    • beyondthepeel May 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

      Thank you alicia for sharing your story. It just goes to show you that what we have is already created perfectly and if you don’t mess with it it will treat you right your whole life.

  2. Tashaboss82 May 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    I use natural family planning the cheap way.  A chart and a basal thermometer.  I’m sure this device makes it slightly more convenient, but it’s totally not necessary.

    • Elise May 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

       Same here. You can also cross check temperature with mucus discharge and cervical changes which makes it even more fool proof.

      Also, if you have a smart phone, you can download an NFP app really inexpensively.

  3. Ioana May 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    I guess I was lucky comparing with you. I trusted doctors that told me the birth control pills are safe. I was 22. I took them for one month, gain 20 pounds (they switched my thyroid from hyper to hypo) and never took it after that, even other doctors prescribe it to me for other problems. I started thinking for myself. Took me a while to get ride of the pounds and to balance my thyroid, but it was the opening for a beautiful journey toward a better health only with natural solutions.

    • beyondthepeel May 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

      I’m glad to hear you were in a place that you were listening to your body and not what the doctors were saying. I just wasn’t listening and paid the price.

  4. Becky May 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    I used a Lady Comp for 2 years of successful contraception, and got pregnant my first try when I decided it was time to start a family.  Highly recommended.

    • beyondthepeel May 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      Yes, congrats on your beautiful baby girl Becky. I’m so glad you chose this method of family family.

  5. Katie @NFP and Me May 6, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    I use NFP  (the Creighton method) and adore it. You described it perfectly with the ‘control and relief’ bit. I am the one in control not Pfizer, not my pharmacist, not my doctor, me (well and ya know my husband gets a say too. ;-)) Plus the no side effects aspect. It’s the best! Thanks for sharing your story!

    • beyondthepeel May 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      Thank you for sharing yours Katie. Feeling in control can’t be stated enough as the biggest benefit.

  6. Anita May 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    We use the LadyComp as well.  It will be our fifth year this fall.  This device does a lot more than make it slightly more convenient than charting.  :)  I used to chart.  Once we got to the point of actually trusting what our little bedside monitor had to say — there was virtually NOTHING for us to do.  Over the last four years I can’t tell you how many mornings I don’t even remember taking my temperature — yet it was there… all neatly recorded and remembered.  And after three and a half years of gathering information from me — it isn’t at all necessary for me to take a daily reading anymore.  A couple times a week — and recording my period start and end dates — is all that is necessary to track.  I also like how discreet this little thing is.  To this day my kids think it’s just a weird alarm clock. :)

    • beyondthepeel May 8, 2012 at 4:45 am #

      I’m so happy to hear all the success stories. I had a few through email too! You’re so right about the convenience. I don’t remember to take my temperature all the time, but with so many years of history, this little gadget has it sorted. What piece of mind!

  7. Martha May 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    I was on the Pill for four years and had a whole host of health problems as a result – but my docs kept pushing it as a “cure” for my PCOS and irregular cycles. It took years for me to realize it wasn’t “curing” anything, just masking symptoms I’d have to deal with when my hubs and I decided to have children anyway. I was lucky that very hippie my mom used FAM for her whole married life and really explained it to me – and the affect nutrition can have on controlling and managing PCOS. I got off the Pill and never looked back. 
    We used Creighton to get pregnant with our first (it took us 8 months to conceive since I ovulate so rarely), but might switch to the Lady Comp after the babe comes in October, just for the added security (I’m nervous about recording signs postpartum). I love that NFP/FAM doesn’t mask any possible symptoms of reproductive problems, and that it taught me (and my husband!!) to understand what goes on with me each cycle (which sometimes for me can be 90+ days). Plus it means I have zero drugs to take every month…which as far as I’m concerned it always a good thing. 

    • beyondthepeel May 8, 2012 at 4:43 am #

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us Martha. It’s so disturbing that drugs seem to always be the solution pushed on us when it is in actuality a prescription for disaster.

    • beyondthepeel May 8, 2012 at 4:43 am #

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us Martha. It’s so disturbing that drugs seem to always be the solution pushed on us when it is in actuality a prescription for disaster.

  8. inspirededibles May 8, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Thanks for sharing your story France… I love these personal history segments that allow us to learn from each other…  I’m glad you found a birth control system that works for you, your body and your peace of mind. 

    http://www.inspirededibles.ca

    • beyondthepeel May 8, 2012 at 4:39 am #

      Thanks Kelly, I just wish I had had a mother around to help me weed through all of this before I had done so much damage. But alas, one can not undo the past but be thankful for the lessons.

    • beyondthepeel May 8, 2012 at 4:39 am #

      Thanks Kelly, I just wish I had had a mother around to help me weed through all of this before I had done so much damage. But alas, one can not undo the past but be thankful for the lessons.

  9. Koko May 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    I’m really glad you posted this France, this is a great, informative read. Thanks!

  10. Sarah Ellzey May 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this! I just had a baby 10 days ago, and hubby and I were discussing over the lunch table how we plan to prevent me from getting pregnant right away. I really don’t know if we’ll be splurging on this thermometer, but I’m going to seriously consider it.

    Do you have any other resources about natural family planning, as to how it works and how to calculate? I don’t even know where to start learning about this method!

    • beyondthepeel May 9, 2012 at 1:25 am #

      Hi Sarah,
      There are lots of different alternatives to natural family planning that are free to learn that are also effective. They require a little more diligence to track and learn the method. I definitely took the easy way out because I knew I couldn’t be trusted:) However if you are wanting to learn I hear lots of good stuff on the Creighton method and you can also google Natural Planning to see resources and even teachers for your area.Your library might even have some great books on learning the method of tracking your ovulation and your cycles. I hope that helps.

    • deanna May 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      Please read Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler!  It is a great book and will give you so much information on how your body works and what all of the alternatives are.  There’s even a special section for post-partum!

      • beyondthepeel May 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

        Thanks for sharing this Deanna, the resources are priceless.

  11. Dani May 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    There is a fantastic book out there called Taking Charge Of Your Ferrtility. It tells all KINDS of information, including how to avoid or try for pregnancy, a brief blurb on sex selection and more. It requires a basal thermometer and daily temp checks, but it’s much less expensive, and you have to do the work and calculations to figure out your fertile window. Natural Family Planning is not the same as the comparably ineffective Rhythm Method, and the book does a great job of explaining why. I would bet you could even find the book at your local library. We have avoided pregnancy for six years and counting using the methods i learned in the book, and i also learned a ton about being in touch with my body and my cycle.

    • beyondthepeel May 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      Hi Dani, Thank you for your recommendation. I know more and more people are looking for solutions to the prescription craze the world has been on for 60 years. Books are such a great resource. If anyone else knows of a great book or resource, please share it here so we can all learn.

  12. Megan h Mackenzie May 10, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Glad it works for you too France! I know that you can do this with just a regular thermometer but there’s something about having a digital record and letting the machine give you the ‘green’ or ‘red’ light that really takes the pressure and thinking out of natural temping. I LOVE this machine- it made me more aware of my body, less emotional and hormonal that on birth control, and is totally stress free. Thanks for passing this on to others!!

  13. deanna May 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    I did BC pills for 9 months.  Towards the end, my emotions were so scattered – depressed, angry, aloof, volatile – that I decided to talk to my ob-gyn about it.  They’re here to help, right?  She told me that I should take an antidepressant to go with my BC pills.  That made me so mad (like I wasn’t already mad?) – take a pill to fix the side effects of the first pill knowing full good and well that antidepressants carry a ton of side effects!  I walked out – never went back.  Did my research, read Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and stayed pregnancy free for a year, got pregnant on the first try becuase I knew what day I was fertile, and have been pregnancy free since. 

  14. Camilla Mann May 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    France, what a great read. I, too, started taking the Pill that seemed to be handed out like candy in college. I took it for almost 6 years and it took a whole year after that for me to even have a cycle again! And the doctors claim there are no side-effects. Please. My husband and I battled with “infertility,” medically, I suppose that was the term; I think of it now as purging all of the horrible things out of my body and getting clean. We went totally organic and I began a fertility yoga program. We now have two fabulous little boys without any medical intervention whatsoever. I’m glad that you’re choosing this natural path for pregnancy prevention!

  15. Jenn Erickson May 15, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    France, I’ve never heard about the Lady Comp.  It was definitely interesting to read about this alternative to other methods of birth control.  I have two children and don’t want to add any more to the nest; if my husband weren’t so excited about getting snipped (said with complete and utter sarcasm), it’s something I’d definitely look in to. 

  16. Jess Smith May 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    I’m so glad you shared this! So many people are afraid to come out of the FAM/NFP closet because of it’s associations with religion. 

    What few people realize is that their doctors are SO undereducated with regards to fertility, and are afraid to challenge the medical status quo with regards to birth control! You said, “Funny no one thought to mention it. ” about the side effects of the different HBC methods you were on—WHY IS THIS STILL SOMETHING WE HEAR OVER & OVER!!!?

    Well, it starts with people like yourself advocating for your own health, and the best options for yourself. For other people looking for more information on alternative methods, I’d check tcoyf[dot]org, nfpblog[dot]com (self-plug), or the Society of Menstural Research’s Blog for more info!

  17. Heba Saleh May 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us, France! I got married three years ago and have been loosely practicing NFP, but I need to get more serious about it to prevent any accidents (definitely not trying to get pregnant nowadays). I shy away from taking any meds because of the side effects and risks associated, so fortunately, I haven’t gone that route. Thanks for introducing me to the Lady Comp – I’m seriously considering it in the long run. And thanks for opening up about your experience … I’m really glad you found a natural method that worked out for you! 

  18. Travelingbrit August 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    i’m thinking of getting a lady comp and found your article very interesting. i was wondering if you know the longevity of the product? compared to the prices of other birth controls over 5 years, it is cheaper… but do you know if the lady comp will even last 5 years or longer? 
    thanks!!! 

    • France Morissette August 23, 2012 at 12:11 am #

      Hi Travelingbrit. I’ve had mine now for 4 years and there’s no signs of it not lasting at least another few years. I know people who have had theirs for 7 years. I think it’s a very safe bet to get a minimum of 5 years if not 10.

  19. Karen Sharp August 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    They are all sold out on Amazon and I Googled it too but they seem to be sold out every place! You can pre-order it on the main website though. They also have financing options! I have used NFP for many years, that’s how I got some of my kids because I’m no good at it! Does this work if your cycle is not regular??

    • beyondthepeel August 23, 2014 at 12:04 am #

      When I ordered it I was on a waiting list too. It took me 4 months to get it. The customer support isn’t great. It takes a long time for everything. However that being said…once I got the device I never had any issues and the battery lasted 7 years. My cycle was irregular, I have insomnia so a basal temperature isn’t accurate on me at all….but I have no children so it worked. The trick is to use protection on the days when you get a yellow light on don’t have intercourse. I hope that helps.

Leave a Reply

Website & Logo design by ohksocialmedia.