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GSE Alternative Family Planning "Tools" - for Birth Control and Fertility Monitoring

Family planning / Birth Control Alternatives

To review all the current methods of birth control, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article on birth control .

This page will focus on three birth control methods that do not cause harmful side-effects:

(1) Fertility Monitor

(2) The Temperature Method

(3) The Mucus Method

(1) Fertility Monitor –“Family planning tool”

A fertility monitor (also called ovulation monitor, ovulation microscope, fertility microscope, saliva monitor, saliva microscope) is a device that alerts to impending or actual ovulation - The monitor requires samples of saliva, urine or cervical fluid to run the test. There are many different brands and types of fertility monitors with a cost ranging from around $20 to $400.

For what purpose is the Fertility Monitor Used

✔ Trying to become pregnant

✔ To determine whether you're ovulating

✔ Trying to avoid pregnancy

✔ To enhance awareness of your menstrual cycles

When is the Fertility Monitor Used

The fertility monitor should be used around the days of the menstrual cycle when a woman can conceive:

–   There are only about 3 days when her egg is available for fertilization

–   Sperm can survive up to 72 hours (3 days) in the vagina and uterus - so if sexual intercourse occurs up to 3 days before a woman is fertile, she can still potentially become pregnant.

Thus, there are about 6 days per month that a woman can conceive (3 days prior to fertility, and 3 days of fertility).

Fertility Monitors

(2)The Temperature Method

This method pinpoints the day of ovulation so that sex can be avoided for a few days before and after - involves taking your basal body temperature (your temperature upon first waking) each morning with an accurate "basal" thermometer, and noting the rise in temperature that occurs after ovulation.

Illness or lack of sleep can change your body temperature and make this method unreliable by itself, but when it is combined with the mucus method, it can be an accurate way of assessing fertility. The two methods combined can have a success rate as high as 98 percent.

(3)The Mucus Method

The mucus method tracks changes in the amount and texture of vaginal discharge - which reflect rising levels of estrogen in your body.

Vaginal Discharge Changes during menstrual cycle


Discharge type

First few days after your period

Usually no discharge

As estrogen starts to rise

Cloudy, tacky mucus

Ovulation is near

Starts to increase in volume and becomes clear and stringy

Ovulation has passed

Return to tacky, cloudy mucus or no discharge

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