When I decided to try CycleBeads, I was really nervous. I was just starting grad school and my husband was just finishing. We were both students and getting pregnant would have been a nightmare.
I know a lot of women in my situation would have said that I should use an IUD or the pill, but I've tried both and it did not go well. With the IUD I had terrible cramping and bled. With the pill, I was sick ALL THE TIME. Seriously - every minute of the day. It felt like an impossible situation.
I've done a lot of research and I understand the basic biology of fertility. The method that CycleBeads are based on makes sense to me. But, I was also still paranoid about getting pregnant. Making the decision to use a fertility awareness method in particular is scary. I've always had this vague sense that natural family planning just doesn't work and you can't help but be affected by what others might think...
Somehow if you become pregnant while on the pill its "an accident". If you get pregnant when using a fertility awareness method, it's "your fault".
I know that no birthcontrol method is 100% effective but there is comfort in taking a pill and not thinking about it.
Because we were so paranoid about getting pregnant, my husband and I made the decision that we would only have sex on the days when CycleBeads said I was "not fertile" AND that we would use condoms on those days too. We probably sound like crazy people, but it works for us. We don't have sex during the 12 fertile days at all and when we do have sex its on a non-fertile day WITH a condom.
It used to be that every time we had sex I was freaking out that I could get pregnant. But now I'm very confident that I'm covered. Only having sex on the days when pregnancy is unlikely AND using a condom puts my mind at ease.
It has totally changed the dynamic of our relationship and made it so much easier for us to enjoy each other. I'm really looking forward to the day when we're ready for a baby, but until then...we plan to keep this up (no pun intended)!
Editor's note: Thank you Gina T. for your willingness to share your story.
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