Conventional birth control methods might not be for some couples due to reasons such as allergies, health problems and sometimes, religious reasons.
There should be a safe method to planning your family without resorting to conventional means and one of these method is the Billings Ovulation Method® . We believe women should have a bit of knowledge on Billings Ovulation Method®, first and foremost for health monitoring and secondly, and later, if they marry, they can use it for planning their families as this method is useful for postponing as well as achieving pregnancy. Let’s explore this interesting pregnancy method further.
The Billings Ovulation Method® is a natural method of daily fertility tracking. A woman therefore knows for certain if she is fertile on any particular day based on her natural observations of that day and days past. The method was discovered by Dr. John Billings of Melbourne, Australia in 1953. It was discovered when he was trying to find a natural method with better reliability than the rhythm calendar method to help couples to postpone pregnancy naturally and to space out births. Soon it was found to be useful in helping couple conceive naturally by timing sexual intercourse to fertility as indicated by the Billings Ovulation Method® chart (record which the women keep).
She should be having regular bleeds with regular ovulation. The Billings Ovulation Method® record chart will be able to indicate this clearly. Ovulation is a sign of health and the normal range of women’s menstrual cycles is between 24 and 35 days. More than 90 percent of women with cycles outside of this range have a problem that can be treated and should be treated but not with the contraceptive pill.
There are also women who may be regularly bleeding but not ovulating and the Billings Ovulation Method® chart will point to that. Then an investigation needs to be done to find out why she is not ovulating. One reason could be Vitamin D deficiency.
Once a woman has mastered the Billings Ovulation Method® she will be able to tell accurately when her fertile and infertile times are and if the intention is to postpone pregnancy, then avoid days which are fertile. It is accurate only if the woman fall back to counting and estimating her fertile days – that would be relying on the calendar rhythm method.
Having said, we should stress that the Billings Ovulation Method® rules for postponing pregnancy applies in all situations, even when a woman still has irregular bleeds such as post-chemical contraception, stress, breast feeding or during perimenopause.
After delivery, she should start observing after the lochia (vaginal discharge after giving birth) has finished. All days of Basic Infertile Pattern or BIP (a Billings Ovulation Method® term meaning that the woman recognises her infertility before her ovulation), the woman is infertile. We normally advise our users to see a trained Billings Ovulation Method® teacher about two months before delivery to be given further instructions on observations during the post-partum with or without breastfeeding. More regular follow-ups (every 2 to 4 weeks) with a teacher is highly advisable especially after the first baby’s birth.
Apart from those couples who specifically want to achieve pregnancy or to postpone pregnancy, every woman can benefit from this method of fertility monitoring. The knowledge will help them to know whether they are having normal cycles which could indicate a woman’s state of health.
Therefore, the Billings Ovulation Method® could be useful even for women who are single who may never plan to be married for health monitoring purposes.
There are women who cannot use artificial methods because of side effects and this is a reliable method which could be very useful to them. There are also those whose beliefs or religion do not consider artificial methods as moral options.
Couples who prefer natural lifestyles without drugs, devices or operations when they are not sick may find the Billings Ovulation Method® satisfying.
It has been found that among users of natural family planning (including the Billings Ovulation Method®, marital breakdown (divorce) is very low. Natural Methods requires the cooperation of both partners in an area that is very intimate and hence it helps to build up the mutual respect they have for each other through knowing what the wife is going through during the month and also abstinence from sexual intercourse at times.
Both husband and wife must be motivated enough to work together to ensure the reliability which the method can offer. There are no health concerns as nothing artificial – drugs, devices or surgery – is involved. Billings Ovulation Method is as reliable as any other methods if not more reliable. If any couple is thinking of finding a 100 percent effective method in postponing pregnancy, there is only one and that is, complete abstinence!
There is nothing additional which the couple needs to do except learn the authentic way of observation and following the rules for postponing pregnancy as well as achieving pregnancy.
There are some medications which may affect the menstrual cycle and so the cycle may be ‘abnormal’. However, by following the rules, the method can be used for postponing pregnancy but perhaps not for achieving pregnancy because the drug may cause infertility. If this happens, it will be shown by the Billings Ovulation Method® chart – all the more reason why such women should learn the method.
For example, some psychiatric medication may raise prolactin levels which then may cause irregular bleeds and possible infertility.