Natural birth control

| image = | width = | caption = | bc_type = natural birth control | date_first_use = Ancient (abstinence, withdrawal, herbal) to modern (FA, heat-based, LAM) | rate_type = Failure| perfect_failure% = Various | typical_failure% = Various | duration_effect = | reversibility = Yes | user_reminders = See individual methods | clinic_interval = None | STD_protection_YesNo = No | periods_advantage = | benefits = No side effects (possible exception of herbal) | periods_disadvantage = | weight_gain_YesNo = No | risks = | medical_notes = }}

Natural birth control is a loose term which refers to methods of birth control that are considered ""; though what is considered "natural" varies widely. Generally, natural birth control does not involve hormonal contraception, nor synthetic chemicals including synthetic spermicide. Other methods may also be excluded, depending on how the term "natural" is defined.

Some definitions of "natural" are more lenient and include barrier contraception used without synthetic spermicide, and occasionally the copper IUD, which contains no hormones. Some definitions exclude the use of devices, but include the use of herbs, natural substances, and behavioral methods. Natural family planning is the most exclusive in its definition of what is "natural".


The following is a list of methods which may be considered "natural birth control". The definition of "natural" varies widely among individuals, and may exclude any of these methods.

Fertility tracking

Fertility tracking methods such as fertility awareness and the Rhythm method may be considered natural birth control. Fertility awareness involves paying attention to biological signs of fertility, while the Rhythm method involves statistical estimation of the likelihood of fertility, based on the length of past cycles.

Herbs and natural substances

Naturally occurring substances are chemicals, but some distinguish them from synthetic substances and consider them "natural". Herbs and substances may be ingested, to interfere with ovulation or implantation. Some are used to encourage menstruation.

Other substances are inserted vaginally, for use as natural spermicides. Examples of these include lemon juice, wild yam, Queen Anne's Lace (wild carrot), and neem). A website called Sister Zeus describes many of these methods in detail.

Sexual activity

Sexual activities which have no or a low risk of conception may also be considered natural birth control. One of the best-known methods is the withdrawal method, which involves pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. Anal sex may be used as a substitute for vaginal intercourse.

Various forms of non-penetrative sex may be used as natural birth control. These do not involve penile penetration, and include:

Barrier methods without synthetic spermicide

Some consider barrier methods to be natural, as they do not involve hormones or affect systemic health. Their effectiveness is based on physically blocking sperm from entering the uterus. These methods include the condom, the female condom, the diaphragm, the cervical cap, and the Lea's Shield. These may be combined with the use of natural substances, including natural spermicides.


Natural family planning

Proponents of the Catholic concept of natural family planning define 'natural' somewhat differently. The Catholic church approves only of total or periodic abstinence and temporary infertility caused by breastfeeding as methods of family planning. NFP prohibits all orgasmic acts other than those achieved through unprotected vaginal intercourse with one's spouse, in accordance with Catholic religious beliefs. Periodic abstinence involves avoiding sexual intercourse during the period of fertility surrounding ovulation. Fertile times may be identified by methods of fertility awareness, particularly through observing changes in cervical mucus and/or fluctuations in basal body temperature, or approximated by statistical methods such as the Rhythm method. Extending the natural period of breastfeeding infertility through particular breastfeeding practices (LAM) is also permitted.

External links

Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

This article is based on "Natural birth control" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia ( It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: