ovuliteferningThose of you who have read Listen To Your Gut know that I recommend women avoid the birth control pill – since not only does it mess with your hormone balance (which is key to foundational health), it creates a gut environment that makes it difficult to establish a healthy bacterial flora.

Increased estrogen during pregnancy leads to higher sugar levels, the preferred food of ‘bad’ bacteria and Candida albicans yeast. Likewise, the surge in estrogen from the birth control pill causes this same candida overgrowth and proliferation of unhealthy bacteria in the gut.

If that’s not nasty enough, continual, high levels of estrogen will also increase your risk of breast cancer, blood clots and thin your bones. Just like menopausal women have come to realize that one of the reasons medical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is damaging is due to the estrogen – well, guess what? If its not healthy for you at 40, why would it be healthy for you at 30, or 20?

Okay, so if you don’t want to use the birth control pill (BCP), then what can you use that is safe and reliable?

There are a number of family planning methods that – when used correctly – have similar efficacy rates to the BCP. The Creighton Model Fertility Care System (CrM) is one recommended by Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND (who has contributed many articles and teleseminars for our JPT Wellness Circle) and it is based on the well-known Billings Method.

For those of you who can’t face the multi-pronged approach of a thorough natural family planning method, I found you can also use a saliva test to track your ovulation. These tests are primarily marketed as “fertility kits” for women trying to get pregnant since they help you pinpoint your ovulation very accurately. Well hello? If you know when you’re approaching ovulation and when ovulation is occurring, then you can just avoid intercourse during this period (and for 4 days following ovulation) and prevent pregnancy too. The accuracy rate of saliva testing is 98%

Obviously, the drawback to this method is that you can’t have intercourse every day, all month long, month after month and it also won’t work if you’re taking hormonal supplements – as that can skew the readings.

For those of you considering a vasectomy, be sure and check out my protocol for natural, holistic post-vasectomy care – so you can skip the painkillers (not needed!), swelling and antibiotics after the procedure.