Hi all, I am new to this forum, and this is my first post. I could not help but weigh in and echo what the other ladies are saying about Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness Method/Billings Method/etc. after the experiences I've had. After 3 miserable years on the pill and 4 (less) miserable months with barrier methods (less miserable for me, very miserable for the hubby), I reluctantly tried the copper "Paragard" IUD. It was the most painful experience of my life getting it put in (can you tell I've never had any children?). I had a lot of side effects - bloating, sharp pains, cramping, spotting, very heavy, long cycles, and a nagging feeling about how it was primarily working. I believe life begins at conception, and while I found sources suggesting that the IUD has a spermicidal effect, if that fails, it basically creates a chronic inflammation/infection in your uterus that would make implantation impossible. The pill is no different, by the way - if ovulation is not prevented, prevention of implantation of a fertilized embryo is a backup defense - something I did not thoroughly understand before going on the pill before I did so much research. Anyway, I embraced the IUD for a solid year because I was so incredibly happy to be off the hormones and because it made the hubby happy, despite all the side effects. A few months after getting the IUD, I began reading "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler and realized that natural birth control IS possible and IS effective. Without really thinking I could or would, I decided one night to try "pulling the string," if you know what I mean, and it came right out. (So, as a side note, if the SHTF, or if you are just "crazy" and hate going to doctors like me, you can try taking it out yourself). I've been using a hybrid of the Fertility Awareness Method and the Billings method for a full year now and am SO much happier. As someone with a survivalist mindset, it is incredibly liberating to know how my body works and to know that no matter what, I can control my fertility and teach other women these skills, too. And by the way - natural family planning DOES work if you do not have regular cycles! Mine are getting better, but at the beginning, they were as long as 60 days one month and as short at 45 days the next month. I've been working to improve my diet and health a lot this past year and half, and now my cycles are averaging between 30-45 days long, which is still quite a spread. There are several ways to check and double check yourself, and after a few months, you will get to know your body really well, and it will tell you what it's doing and when. Hope this insight can help someone else learn from my mistakes and experiences. P.S. If you're still considering an IUD, all I can say is that as much as I hated it, I would still choose another copper IUD over a hormonal method if those were my only two choices.