Barrier Methods of Birth Control

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photo courtesy of

As a Lady-Comp user, if you are currently not trying to conceive, you may be looking for a form of birth control to use on your fertile days.  If so, one option that may interest you are barrier methods, which are various forms of birth control that block sperm from entering your uterus.  The types of barrier methods include the male condom, female condom, diaphragm, sponge, and cervical cap.  Any of these methods can be strengthened by also using a spermicide, which will kill most of the sperm as it enters your vagina, leaving fewer sperm for the barrier method to block.

The following are some advantages of using barrier methods.

  • No pre-planning is required. They can be put in place at the time of sexual intercourse.
  • They are temporary methods which have no long term effects on the fertility of either partner.
  • They are safe to use while you are breastfeeding.
  • Unlike hormonal birth control, they cannot aggravate medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • They are available without a prescription.

The following are some disadvantages of using barrier methods.

  • Aside from the male condom, other forms of barrier methods have little to no effectiveness in preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
  • The combination of diaphragms and spermicides has been linked to causing urinary tract infections.
  • Some people suffer from allergies to nonoxynol-9, which is the primary ingredient in most spermicides.
  • Condoms may tear or fall off due to improper size or placement.
  • Some people suffer from a latex allergy, in which case they must use condoms made of polyurethane, which is slightly less effective.
  • Some people may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed interrupting foreplay to implement the use of a barrier method.

Ultimately, the method you decide to use is a very personal decision.  If you are trying to decide which is right for you, talk with your physician and your partner.




The Pros and Cons of Having Sex during Your Period

Photo courtesy of Getty Images Paul Bradbury

Photo courtesy of Getty Images Paul Bradbury

Many people consider “that time of the month” to be off limits for sex.  In fact, it could be a topic you and your partner have never actually discussed.  If having sex during menstruation is something you are willing to try, you should open up a dialogue with your partner to see if it is something they are interested in as well.  Below are some potential positives and negatives to consider when having sex during your period.

There are several pros to having sex during menstruation which may not have occurred to you.  First, to state it bluntly, your menstrual blood provides natural lubrication that can improve the sensation for both parties involved.  Next, the changes in a women’s hormones during menstruation can result in an increased libido and higher sensitivity, which leads to more enjoyable sex for you.  Third, you may find that having sex during your period will actually shorten its length, as the act of having an orgasm creates muscle spasms in the uterus which will cause the uterine lining to shed more quickly.  Finally, those very same orgasms cause a release of endorphins that can help relieve your period-related cramps.

On the flip side, there are some cons to sex during your period.  First, it is definitely a messier proposition.  Therefore, you may want to limit your activity to lighter flow days, avoid any positions that require you to be on top, and either have sex in the shower, or place a towel underneath you to absorb any liquid and protect your bedding from stains.   Next, a possibility exists that one or both of you will become uncomfortable, bringing an end to the intimacy.  Simply agree in advance that if this happens, it’s OK with both of you not to continue, and credit yourself for trying something new.



Mid-Cycle Spotting

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It can be very frustrating to discover you are experiencing bleeding between periods, which is commonly known as mid-cycle spotting.  Not only is mid-cycle spotting an inconvenience, but it can be a sign of a variety of medical conditions.  The following are some possible causes of this condition.

  • Implantation Bleeding– Up to 33% of women will experience implantation bleeding 6 to 12 days after conceiving.  This is light pink to brown discharge that occurs when the egg implants itself in the uterine lining.  It is extremely light bleeding that may occur just once, and definitely will not exceed two days in length.
  • Cervical Abnormalities– Slight mid-cycle bleeding can be a sign of Human Papillomavirus, cervical fibroids, or cancer.
  • Hormone Imbalance– Many different health issues, such as endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and thyroid problems can lead to a disruption in the delicate balance of hormones in your body and cause mid-cycle bleeding.
  • Ovarian Cysts– If your mid-cycle bleeding is accompanied by a sharp pain on either side of your lower abdomen, it could be the result of a ruptured ovarian cyst.
  • Sexual Intercourse– The closer your body is to ovulating, the more sensitive your cervix becomes.  Having sex during this sensitive time can actually cause mild damage to the cervix that produces bleeding.  If you see bright red blood after intercourse, this is the likely culprit.

Even if you feel you know the cause behind your mid-cycle spotting, it is a good idea to meet with your doctor to discuss it.  To prepare for the meeting, write down the days in your cycle in which the spotting occurs, how long it lasts, the color and amount of blood, and any other symptoms you experience at the same time.  A firm medical diagnosis will allow you and your physician to discuss ways of preventing mid-cycle spotting in the future.



Menstrual Cycle Positives

When women discuss their menstrual cycle, it is usually about some negative aspect of it.  After all, the start of your period brings on a full range of emotion, from the discomfort of premenstrual syndrome to the disappointment of not being pregnant.  While your monthly cycle is all too often unwelcome, we would like you to consider the ways in which it can be used to your benefit.

In previous postings, we have discussed how estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone fluctuate in your body throughout your cycle.  By tracking your cycle and being attuned to your body, you can schedule certain tasks on days when your body’s hormones will give you optimal performance.  Below you will find some examples of ways you can maximize your menstrual cycle.

  • You can make the most of exercising on days when your estrogen levels are lower,
    photo courtesy of

    photo courtesy of

    which is typically days 4-11 in a 28 day cycle.  At this time, you will find high-intensity exercise easier, resulting in lower breathing and heart rates throughout.  This is because the decreased estrogen allows for more efficient burning of the glycogen in your body, which provides quick energy.

  • Many women report feeling more creative when they are menstruating, which would be the result of the calm brought on by the drop in estrogen and progesterone levels. If you are a writer, artist, craftswoman, etc., you may find this time to be very productive for you.
  • In her book, “The Optimized Woman: If You Want to Get Ahead, Get a Cycle,” author Miranda Gray posits that women’s skillsets change throughout their monthly cycle, and describes how awareness of this can increase productivity and effectiveness in the workplace. Gray states that abilities that you will find heightened at various times of the month include logical reasoning, strategic planning, critical analysis, team building, project initiation and management, and outside of the box thinking.

Have you noticed times in your cycle where your abilities are heightened?  Tell us more in the comments below.


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How to Feel Sensual When You Have Small Children

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photo courtesy of

When you have small children to care for, it can be extremely challenging to find time for a sex life.  Not to mention that changes in your body, coupled with sheer exhaustion, can leave you feeling less than attractive.  With all you are juggling, if you notice your partner looking at you, you might be more likely to assume there is a spot of dried-up formula on your shirt than you would be to think they are looking for a zesty session in the bedroom.  If this sounds familiar, read on to find some suggestions on reigniting your sexual spark.

  • Have realistic expectations for yourself.  You may someday return to your pre-baby weight, or you may not, and you should know that both scenarios are OK.  Throw away that lingerie catalog and steer clear of other air-brushed media imagery that can give you a negative body image.
  • Dress the part.  Chances are you didn’t change into grubby clothes the second you got home from work before you had a baby, and you shouldn’t do so now.  Invest in some comfortable loungewear that shows off your shape, such as camisoles and leggings.
  • Exercise regularly.  Physical activity not only helps you lose weight and reduce stress; it releases powerful endorphins that will leave you feeling sexy and strong.
  • Take some time for yourself.  Go to the spa for a massage, manicure, pedicure, and/or a bikini wax.  Doing so will make you feel more relaxed, boost your confidence, and remind you of the importance of self-care.
  • Light some candles.  Studies have shown that candles scented with vanilla, musk, ginger, peppermint, ylang ylang, and nutmeg can be aphrodisiacs.  Additionally, candlelight itself brings a figure-flattering and cozy glow to the room.

What methods have you used to invigorate your sex life? You can share by posting in the comments below.



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Yoga and Your Menstrual Cycle

Yoga is a spiritual science founded in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.  It is a series of women-doing-yogaphysical postures, varying in difficulty level, which help you become more in tune with your body and at peace with your surroundings.  Yoga has become extremely popular in the United States due to its dual purpose of helping you get fit while also calming your mind.  For women, yoga can play a positive role in various aspects of your menstrual cycle.

  • PMS Relief– Yoga can be used for the wide variety of symptoms that accompany premenstrual syndrome.  First, it boosts circulation, which can relieve the buildup of fluid that causes bloating.  Next, the focus on deep breathing increases oxygen flow to your tissues, which eases uncomfortable cramping.  Finally, yoga requires focus, which, if nothing else, will take your mind off how you are feeling for a blissful period of time.  Poses to try include child’s pose, cat pose, and bridge pose.
  • Fertility– While yoga is not a direct treatment for infertility, it has elements which can be helpful to a woman struggling with fertility issues.  First, it helps to increase blood flow in the pelvic area.  Next, it helps those practicing it achieve tranquility.  This is important because the stress that occurs in most people experiencing infertility can only exacerbate the issue further.
  • Regulating Hormones– Yoga works by pressurizing and depressurizing specific glands in your body, and in doing so, can help regulate your hormonal secretions.  Therefore, the regular practice of yoga has a positive impact on your endocrine system.  As a result, yoga can help you decrease hot flashes brought on by menopause, boost your libido, improve memory, eliminate good cravings, reduce and manage pain, combat fatigue, lower anxiety, decrease mood swings, lower depression, balance your thyroid, and much more.




Irregular Cycles are not so irregular

Largely to simplify the explanation of the process, a standard menstrual cycle is considered to be 28 days in length. The breakdown is as follows:

  • The first day of bleeding is day 1.
  • During days 1-14, known as the follicular phase, your follicles ripen as your estrogen rises. One follicle becomes dominant and produces an egg.
  • During days 14-28, known as the luteal phase, your estrogen levels drop as your progesterone levels rise.  Around day 14, in the process of ovulation, the egg is released from the follicle and travels through the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus to be fertilized.
  • Women are fertile for about 24-48 hours around the time they ovulate.  If the egg is not fertilized, menstruation occurs, and the cycle repeats.

period irregularNow, if everyone’s cycle worked exactly like this, it would be relatively easy to guess your fertile days.  However, this is not the case.  A woman’s menstrual cycle is completely unique to the individual.  It can range from 24-37 days and still be considered normal if that is what is normal for you.  Additionally, your cycle length can naturally vary throughout your life; just because it is 28 days now does not mean it will always be that way.

If you have widely irregular periods, it is important to see your doctor.  It is possible to cause your body to have irregular periods completely inadvertently through poor nutrition, over-exercising, smoking, and excessive alcohol and/or caffeine intake.  Your cycle can be impacted by excess stress and certain medications as well.  A physician can help you explore these possibilities as well as potential medical causes such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or uterine abnormalities.

If you are trying to become pregnant and are being hampered by an irregular cycle, Lady-Comp can help so please call us today at 1-877-925-LADY.

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Causes of Irregular Periods

If you are trying to become pregnant, having an irregular period can be a source of great frustration, as it makes it much more difficult to calculate your fertile days.  While all women will experience an irregular period occasionally, if it is happening on a regular basis, there is a chance something occurring in your daily life is the culprit.  Below are some possible triggers.

  • Stress– This is the number one cause of irregular periods.  When you are stressed your body produces a hormone called cortisol, and this interferes with the amount of estrogen and progesterone being produced by your body.  Excess cortisol can completely change the timing and flow of your cycle.
  • Excessive Exercise– In this case, it’s possible to do too much of a good thing.  If you are overdoing it at the gym, your body will not have the energy it needs to generate your menstrual cycle.
  • Gaining or Losing Weight– Your weight is a factor in the level of hormones your body produces.  If you have recently gained weight or are on a weight loss journey, you can expect your period to shift around.
  • Alcohol– Estrogen and progesterone are metabolized by your liver, which is a critical part of the regulation of your cycle.  When your liver is consumed by metabolizing alcohol in excess, it interferes with this process.
  • Diet– Studies have shown that a diet high in fat and carbohydrates can interfere with your menstrual cycle.  In most cases, a diet like this will cause weight gain, and cholesterol compounds located in fat cells actually produce a weak form of estrogen which will throw off your body’s natural hormone balance.

If you are seeking a natural way to determine your fertile days despite your cycle irregularities, Lady-Comp is your answer.  This 99.3% effective fertility computer will accurately predict the days you are likely to become pregnant, regardless of variations in your cycle length.  Please call us at 1-877-925-LADY to learn more.

Birth Control Side Effects: Are They Permanent?


birthcontrolTaking any type of hormonal birth control brings an inherent risk of side effects.  While some may fade over time, others are clear indicators that you should investigate other options.  Below are some common side effects of hormonal birth control and information on which could be cause for alarm.

  • Headache, dizziness, and breast tenderness– These side effects should fade over time.  If they remain at the same intensity after three months, consult with your doctor about alternatives.
  • Breakthrough bleeding– This symptom may never go away, even if you diligently take your birth control pill at the same time daily.  While it is not cause for concern, it is most definitely frustrating and inconvenient.
  • Decreased libido– For some women, synthetic estrogen increases their levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This protein binds to testosterone and makes it less available for the body’s use.  The result is lowered sexual desire, subdued orgasms, and possibly pain during sex.  Even worse, SHBG levels can remain high in the bloodstream for months after going off the pill.
  • Mood swings– The hormones in birth control pills can cause some to become clinically depressed.  In fact, those with a history of depression would be advised to avoid hormonal birth control completely.
  • Your body composition-While the pill will not make you gain weight, a 2009 study conducted at Texas A&M University showed that it can decrease your muscle tissue.  Comparing a group of 73 women on a weight training program, researchers found those on the pill built 60 percent less lean muscle, had lower levels of muscle building hormones, and had higher levels of hormones that break down muscle tissue.

Those seeking an alternative to hormonal birth control should consider Lady-Comp, an easy-to-use system that can predict your fertile days based on your daily morning body temperature and information you input.  To learn more about Lady-Comp, please call 1-877-925-LADY.

Birth Control Options When Breastfeeding

It has been six weeks since your new bundle of joy arrived, and you are more than ready to resume your sex life.  However, if you are breastfeeding, you will find your birth control options are limited.

There are actually only a small handful of hormonal birth control methods that have been approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use while breastfeeding.  Even among those, birth control pills containing estrogen have been shown to decrease milk supply, so it’s recommended you avoid them until your baby is at least six months old and is getting most nutrients through solid foods instead.  Progestin-only contraceptives have been found to impact both milk supply and nutrient content.  If you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, there is something else to take into account.   A 1998 study conducted at the University of Southern California School of medicine showed that women with gestational diabetes who took the mini birth control pill while breastfeeding tripled their risk of developing permanent type II diabetes within a year.  Therefore, taking hormonal birth control while breastfeeding is truly a risk to the health of your baby, and possibly to your own health as well.

You may wish to explore some common non-hormonal methods of birth control during this time.  Examples are male and female condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, vaginal sponges, and spermicides.  However, you can easily unintentionally use any of these methods improperly, which increases their failure rate.  Luckily, you do have the option of using Lady-Comp, which is a great way to prevent pregnancy without subjecting your body to artificial methods.

Lady-Comp is an intelligent fertility monitor which learns, analyzes, and predicts your ovulation with 99.3% accuracy, primarily based on your basal body temperature.  It is easy to use and free of hormones and side-effects.  If you would like to learn more about how Lady-Comp can help you, please call 1-877-925-LADY.