Is FAM no longer a good idea.

What's available, do's and don'ts.
User avatar
ophelia
Under the stars
Posts: 2384
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:02 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 20th, 2004
Gender: Female
Location: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ophelia » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:39 am

Dh and I have 4 kids. Although I sometimes long for one more, in reality it's not a good idea.
We had quite a pregnancy scare this past week. My cycle has been very regular for the past two years. We use a combination of FAM along with condoms and sometimes VCF during the fertile period. I use a conservative 10 day window as the fertile period. From days 10-20.

Anyway, for the first time ever my period was eight days late. The day after I got a blood test my period started. Figures. :roll:
I have a myriad of hormonal problems going on and so I have considered that my cycle may change at some point. I don't know when I will hit perimenopause but I'm 36 and it could happen soon. Maybe it's happening now. So, now that I've had my first irregular period, I'm a bit scared as how to proceed. Should I throw FAM out the window? Do I just start counting my days again and proceed as before? What do you guys do when your cycle is no longer regular?
Come on darling
There's a war on our TV
But it's alright
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I Love You Violently
Until the dawn's early light.
This is why we fight~Fast Romantics

User avatar
TilWeHaveFaces
Under the stars
Posts: 2858
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 2:26 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): May 8th, 1999
Gender: Male
Location: St. Anne's-on-the-hill, standing outside the garden gate.

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby TilWeHaveFaces » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:03 pm

ophelia wrote:Dh and I have 4 kids. Although I sometimes long for one more, in reality it's not a good idea.
We had quite a pregnancy scare this past week. My cycle has been very regular for the past two years. We use a combination of FAM along with condoms and sometimes VCF during the fertile period. I use a conservative 10 day window as the fertile period. From days 10-20.

Anyway, for the first time ever my period was eight days late. The day after I got a blood test my period started. Figures. :roll:
I have a myriad of hormonal problems going on and so I have considered that my cycle may change at some point. I don't know when I will hit perimenopause but I'm 36 and it could happen soon. Maybe it's happening now. So, now that I've had my first irregular period, I'm a bit scared as how to proceed. Should I throw FAM out the window? Do I just start counting my days again and proceed as before? What do you guys do when your cycle is no longer regular?


Sounds like you're just doing a calendar method for FAM, which is both problematic and almost completely unusable for irregular cycles.

Are you familiar with sympto-thermal? Understanding and practicing that will help you pinpoint your fertile period almost exactly. Some just find it a pain, because you have to take waking temperatures with a basal thermometer and cross-reference that with internal observations. But whether a cycle is 25 days or 45 days, the signs will always tell you the days to avoid intercourse or use a barrier method.

(We took NFP classes from the Catholics -- even though we're Presbyterian -- but we applied the knowledge as FAM, rather than NFP, which teaches abstinence during fertility.)

User avatar
ophelia
Under the stars
Posts: 2384
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:02 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 20th, 2004
Gender: Female
Location: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ophelia » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:16 pm

Actually the method I used for FAM was to use ovulation testing for several months after each childbirth until I was certain that my cycle had regulated. I also check my cervical mucus. The problems I have with the basal temp method is that I have uncontrolled thyroiditis and my basal temp is unpredictable. If my metabolism is low, which it often is, then my basal temp stays low regardless of when I ovulate. :? Up until now the other methods were working pretty well. The nice thing has been that my cycle has been so consistent until now and I haven't had to worry about it much.
Come on darling
There's a war on our TV
But it's alright
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I Love You Violently
Until the dawn's early light.
This is why we fight~Fast Romantics

ledgemoor
Under the stars
Posts: 3021
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:31 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): May 3rd, 1982
Gender: Male

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ledgemoor » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:29 pm

Well, at 36, you probably have a lot of fertile years left. If you don't want any more children, vasectomy time for hubby?
Everything you ever wanted in life is just outside your comfort zone (Jamie Lee Curtis)

User avatar
The Twit
Blanket on a secluded beach!
Posts: 1866
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:13 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 14th, 1993
Gender: Male
Location: Somewhere in the Upper Midwest

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby The Twit » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:56 pm

This kind of sounds like DW at about the same age and right after the birth of our 3rd. DW was regular like clockwork and FAM was easy. During the pregnancy with out 3rd DW noticed her hormones were way off and she started to develop ovarian cysts that would come an d go on a regular cycle. She started getting back into regular periods but the time kept shrinking and shrinking first 28 days then 25 days then 20 and so on until about 3 years ago she was having 14 days between periods. Every time she had her period she would develop a UTI. Her first doctor was a jerk and did not pay any attention to her issues and did nothing. She then switched doctors and the new doc put her on HBC as the first phase in her stages of menopause. This steadied her period back to the normal 28 days and we noticed that each time the period time comes around she has early warning signs of a UTI so her doctor is looking at the hormones causing the UTI. The plus side of the HBC is that her period is regular, she is not getting ovarian cysts, and other aspects of her personality are more stable. As for sex, we have always used condoms and will most likely use condoms until DW goes into menopause completely. Since I buy the condoms we use, it is my choice on what we use based on the feel and comfort for me.

User avatar
ophelia
Under the stars
Posts: 2384
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:02 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 20th, 2004
Gender: Female
Location: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ophelia » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:41 pm

ledgemoor wrote:Well, at 36, you probably have a lot of fertile years left. If you don't want any more children, vasectomy time for hubby?


Whether we want more kids depends on which day you ask. We are all over the map. Physically, it would be asking a lot of my body. 4 C-sections and a host of health issues, including the thyroid, makes it tough. We can't afford it right now either. IF, and it's a big if, dh could land a job at a better paying place and we got our finances under control it would be do-able.

On a side note, dh has undergone T injections for the past year and a half so there is a chance he might be shooting blanks anyway. I have been urging him to find a new doctor and to have his semen analyzed.

As for when menopause will hit, I don't know. My mom had a hysterectomy at my age so I don't know when she started. My older sister (38) seems to already be having symptoms. My cycle shortened from 32 days to 26 days after the last kid but it was consistent. I have really difficult PMS now and hot flashes and stuff but that might be associated with other things. I see my OB/GYN at the end of the month so I may ask her about hormone therapy. My endo ran a bunch of labs last month and so I'll bring those with me. I plan on dumping my endo because she has been anything but helpful over the last three years.
Come on darling
There's a war on our TV
But it's alright
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I Love You Violently
Until the dawn's early light.
This is why we fight~Fast Romantics

User avatar
angellove
Blanket on a secluded beach!
Posts: 1790
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): March 20th, 1990
Gender: Female

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby angellove » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:08 pm

I have issues with my BBT as well -- a combination of not sleeping well and my own body's weirdness, so I only track cervical fluid (using the Billings method). Over the past 9 years or so, I have had a handfull of 'weird' cycles. Last month was one of them; my ovulation was a couple of weeks late. I've tracked long enough to know the typical pattern, and I don't count ovulation until I am sure. I also don't count days; I just go on symptom observation.

From my experience, one 'weird' cycle does not mean that it will always be different. I know that I start thinking that way sometimes.

User avatar
TilWeHaveFaces
Under the stars
Posts: 2858
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 2:26 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): May 8th, 1999
Gender: Male
Location: St. Anne's-on-the-hill, standing outside the garden gate.

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby TilWeHaveFaces » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:05 pm

Ah OK. I had assumed you knew way less than you actually do. :oops:

Anyway, mucus-only is a perfectly fine way to go, but you need to give the fertile window a wider margin in that scenario. We were doing that method when Jane got pregnant with #4, because (I think) she didn't check particularly thoroughly and I was reluctant to press her. By the time I went in for my vasectomy it was too late. :lol:

And goodness, if you at all suspect he's shooting blanks, he should really get tested. He'd be tested as part of a vasectomy anyway.

ledgemoor
Under the stars
Posts: 3021
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:31 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): May 3rd, 1982
Gender: Male

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ledgemoor » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:21 pm

ophelia wrote:On a side note, dh has undergone T injections for the past year and a half so there is a chance he might be shooting blanks anyway. I have been urging him to find a new doctor and to have his semen analyzed.

I had a vasectomy before I started testosterone injections, so it isn't something I have researched. I have heard that testosterone supplements shut down natural testosterone production, but I can tell that I am still producing -- my libido varies based on several factors. I purposely keep my dosage low so as not to cause shutdown.

My guess is that he wouldn't shut down sperm production altogether, but just lower it. So depending on how much chance you want to take.... Also, I wouldn't think there would be any guarantee that he couldn't start producing again.

Anyway, I'm curious. If he gets it checked drop me a note!
Everything you ever wanted in life is just outside your comfort zone (Jamie Lee Curtis)

User avatar
ophelia
Under the stars
Posts: 2384
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:02 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 20th, 2004
Gender: Female
Location: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ophelia » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:21 am

Will do ledgemoor.
I'm curious too.

ETA: One of us seems to be very fertile, or has been in the past, because we have accidently conceived three time while using various birth controls.
Come on darling
There's a war on our TV
But it's alright
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I Love You Violently
Until the dawn's early light.
This is why we fight~Fast Romantics

User avatar
ophelia
Under the stars
Posts: 2384
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:02 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 20th, 2004
Gender: Female
Location: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ophelia » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:43 am

TillWeHaveFaces wrote:Anyway, mucus-only is a perfectly fine way to go, but you need to give the fertile window a wider margin in that scenario. We were doing that method when Jane got pregnant with #4, because (I think) she didn't check particularly thoroughly and I was reluctant to press her. By the time I went in for my vasectomy it was too late. :lol:

Maybe I should take a class from the Catholics. I thought a ten day window was big enough but maybe it's not. Dh and I pushed those borders a bit last month and we were technically teetering on day 11 when we had unprotected sex. You can imagine the mixed feelings I had when my period didn't come on time. :shock:

I totally get it about not wanting to press your wife. Dh doesn't do that either. He trusts me to tell him if we are in the fertile period and I do my best. That becomes a lot of pressure to bear sometimes. Things are changing and it's hard to tell. We also go back and forth on having a 5th one someday and that keeps me on an emotional roller coaster.
Come on darling
There's a war on our TV
But it's alright
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I Love You Violently
Until the dawn's early light.
This is why we fight~Fast Romantics

User avatar
angellove
Blanket on a secluded beach!
Posts: 1790
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): March 20th, 1990
Gender: Female

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby angellove » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:22 am

Dh and I pushed those borders a bit last month and we were technically teetering on day 11 when we had unprotected sex. You can imagine the mixed feelings I had when my period didn't come on time.


Do you track your ovulation by symptoms?

User avatar
ophelia
Under the stars
Posts: 2384
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:02 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 20th, 2004
Gender: Female
Location: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ophelia » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:58 am

Yes, I track my symptoms BUT they can be hard to detect sometimes. That's why I use a wide window for protection. It's very possible that I ovulated very late in this past cycle and that window would have been pointless. That's why I'm freaking out a bit. I looked into the Billings website. From what I can gather, they say to keep using protection from the beginning of your period until after ovulation and to forget about counting days. That's probably what we'll need to do. Kind of a bummer because it really cuts down on the non condom days to about 6.

Even if I started doing ovulation testing again it wouldn't guarantee that it wouldn't change and then we'd end up pregnant again. I've thought about looking for a device that detects mucus or saliva ferning. Probably expensive.
Come on darling
There's a war on our TV
But it's alright
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I Love You Violently
Until the dawn's early light.
This is why we fight~Fast Romantics

User avatar
angellove
Blanket on a secluded beach!
Posts: 1790
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): March 20th, 1990
Gender: Female

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby angellove » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:31 pm

It usually involves protection during menstruation and during a fertile mucus pattern.

User avatar
missunique
Queen bed
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:10 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): June 25th, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby missunique » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:55 am

Did you learn an particular method? You say you consider days 10-20 as fertile but as a general rule with FAM you determine fertility on a day to day basis, not by counting days, which is why it still works even for irregular cycles. TCOYF is always a good place to start or refresh your knowledge but nothing beats having an actual teacher, especially if you're having difficulty or are unsure. There are lots of methods to choose from including mucus only methods if you don't want to use BBT. I believe Billings can even be learned over Skype if there are no instructors near you.

Billings (mucus only) http://www.thebillingsovulationmethod.org/ Teachers: http://www.boma-usa.org/teachers.php

Creighton (mucus only) http://www.creightonmodel.com/ (Combine with Napro Technology to work out medical issues http://www.naprotechnology.com/)

Marquette (mucus+ monitor or monitor only) http://nfp.marquette.edu/

User avatar
Job29Man
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Posts: 8029
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:52 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 2nd, 1980
Gender: Male
Location: Hobby Farm, USA

Keep the fertility option open

Postby Job29Man » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:15 am

My philosophy is to keep your fertility option open until God takes it away, or until some great medical need warrants it. So, whatever else you may do, my advice is for neither one of you to get sterilized. You can always "expand the window" of precautionary time.

I have met numerous couples who made a permanent decision about fertility based on where they were at emotionally in their younger days, and then later on they wept with regret because their hearts or their circumstances changed.
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

User avatar
ophelia
Under the stars
Posts: 2384
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:02 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 20th, 2004
Gender: Female
Location: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ophelia » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:59 am

Thank you for the links Miss Unique.
What I was doing was similar to the Marquette method I just didn't have a name for it. I used the Clear Blue fertility monitor test sticks to get a good pattern after my last child was born. After that I just stuck to monitoring my mucus. Test sticks are expensive and I can no longer find them locally.

My mucus patterns aren't as consistent as they once were. It makes sense to count days so that I know which days to be sure to avoid. It's just an extra step.

Job, at this time neither one of us is considering sterilization.
Come on darling
There's a war on our TV
But it's alright
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I Love You Violently
Until the dawn's early light.
This is why we fight~Fast Romantics

InGodsGrace
Under the stars
Posts: 2100
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:46 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): May 9th, 1999
Gender: Female

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby InGodsGrace » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:11 am

I'd check amazon. If I can't find something locally, that's my go to place. They have have brands of test strips too, LOTS cheaper.

User avatar
missunique
Queen bed
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:10 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): June 25th, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby missunique » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:09 am

Counting days isn't reliable if your cycle is becoming irregular. Sperm can survive up to 6 days in fertile mucus, so if you ovulate early you can still get pregnant from sex before day 10. If your ovulation is significantly delayed (e.g. due to irregularity or stress) you could get pregnant after day 20 (keeping in mind the egg can survive 12-24 hours after ovulation and there is a possibility of a second ovulation within 24 hours of the first). If you are having difficulty with your mucus patterns you should go to classes or refresher classes. I know ladies on the NFP forum I frequent get their test sticks on Amazon, but as you say that would be an added expense.

User avatar
ophelia
Under the stars
Posts: 2384
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:02 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 20th, 2004
Gender: Female
Location: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

Re: Is FAM no longer a good idea.

Postby ophelia » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:19 am

missunique wrote:Counting days isn't reliable if your cycle is becoming irregular.

I know. That's why I'm wondering if it's time to throw in the towel. It is very unappealing to me to have to avoid sex or use protection for the majority of my cycle. If I have a short cycle, which I normally do, then dh gets to go condom free for about 6 days :(

Thank you for all the links BTW.
Come on darling
There's a war on our TV
But it's alright
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I Love You Violently
Until the dawn's early light.
This is why we fight~Fast Romantics


Return to “Birth Control”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users