A Personal Story

Submitted: Jan. 2000

Shared By: Branwen
Success: Yes
Pregnancy Test: No
Weight: 130 pounds

What was the date of the first day of your last menstrual cycle? -December 13, 1999.

Do you know the date of (possible) fertilizing intercourse? -December 19.

What was the date you were expecting menstruation? -January 4/5.

When were the herbs started? -January 2.

Summary of dosage information: -Started taking Pennyroyal tea (1 tbsp of dried herb steeped in 1 cup hot water 3X daily) on Jan 2nd. Also took Dong Quai tablets (two different kinds -the first I purchased in a Chinese herbalist shop and the recommended dosage was up to 10 tablets daily, they ran out and I bought another brand at the drugstore of which I took 2 tablets 3X daily). I began taking approx 10g of Vitamin C daily as well. On January 6 I also started taking Evening Primrose oil tablets 3X/day. On January 7 I took 2 tablets of Black Cohosh.

Is there anything you would have done differently? -No.


My partner and I use condoms except when I am sure I am infertile (during menses and for 1 or 2 days immediately afterwards). I had unprotected sex early on day 7 of my cycle and right afterwards I had a "bad feeling" about it as I felt fertile (slight crampy feeling that I notice when I know I am ovulating as well as some sticky vaginal mucous). When I got home later that day, I checked my fertility tester lens and saw that familiar ferning of my saliva meaning that I was starting to ovulate. Early! Right away, I inserted some spermicidal foam to make myself feel better but I was still worried. I then got caught up with seasonal matters as Yule was coming in a few days and then I had to leave town to visit family for Xmas. It was only on New Years day when I began to feel possible symptoms of early pregnancy: My breasts became very swollen and tender and my nipples were extremely sore. I was fatigued and felt nauseous. I also felt mild cramps that came and went. These are all things that I experienced when I was pregnant before.

I have been doing research on herbal birth control myself so I decided to try and bring on my period with herbs. As everything was closed, I had to wait until Jan 2nd to purchase the Pennyroyal herb. I started taking it right away along with the large doses of vit. C and Dong Quai. My cycle is quite irregular: sometimes it lasts only 22 days but it usually is around 25 days.

I continued to take all these things and at 6 in the morning on January 7 I noticed slight spotting. I felt relieved and happy that my period was starting and went to bed. When I woke up later that morning and went to the bathroom, the spotting had stopped. I began to freak out because I had also experienced spotting when I was pregnant before and never at any other time.

That is when I went on the 'net and found your site. It confirmed to me that I had been doing the right thing except that some of the vit. C. I had been taking did have bioflavonoids in it (I was taking a chewable tablet form as well as Redoxon -an effervescent tablet containing 1000 mg vit. C that you drop in water and drink).

When my partner returned from work, I relayed my anxiety about possibly being pregnant to him. I also told him what I had been doing to try and remedy it and showed him this website. He was very understanding and we talked about why we both did not want a pregnancy right now. I tried talking to the possible spirit inside my womb and relayed the message that "now is not a good time" as I am a student and that it should try to find a couple that want a baby. I also tried visualizing the blood flowing out of my body. My partner and I wound up making love afterwards - which was also mentioned in this ‘site’. Then we went out to the drugstore and bought more vit. C 1000 mg tablets -this time with no bioflavonoids- as well as some Black Cohosh capsules. I took 2 of each immediately. We then went to do some shopping. As I was walking around the mall, I began to experience random pains all over my body especially in my feet, stomach and head. We went home and I began to have serious, very painful cramps. Two hours later, I began to bleed and this time it did not stop. Discharge is thick and clumpy and my cramps are far more severe than usual. I have stopped taking everything except the Dong Quai which I normally take every month when my period starts to ease the pain.

I have no idea if I was actually pregnant or not. My period came after being 2-3 days late. I was so relieved that I was able to take matters into my own hands and do what I was able to do to induce menstruation instead of waiting and agonizing every date that I was late. I am also lucky to have a partner who is kind and understanding.

I have been pregnant 3 times before and have ended each one with a clinical abortion. Each time, I was using birth control that failed. The first time, I used a diaphragm with spermicide. The second time, a condom broke and I took the Morning After Pill. I still got pregnant in spite of its supposed 96% success rate! The third time, I ovulated early and got pregnant during foreplay (no penetration). I have resigned myself to the fact that I am extremely fertile.... Why can't it be the people who actually want a baby? I was so worried I would have to go through that again and was not sure if I could face the emotional upheaval. As a Wiccan, I am glad I belong to a pro-Choice religion but I still find abortion to be traumatic and invasive (even though I can justify it to myself and others).

Your site is great and extremely empowering for women. I had been doing research on my own and your site contains everything that I had already learned plus many new tidbits. I have sent your URL on to other friends who had been asking me about natural birth control.

Blessed Be!

PS. I am interested in using Wild Yam as a back-up method but am unclear on a few things. Do you take it every single day of your cycle? Or do you stop for 7 days during menses (like it is with conventional Birth Control Pills)? I knew someone about 5 years ago who claimed to take it for natural birth control but she never really explained how much and how often she took it. She moved out of town before I could get the information from her.

To answer your question: Every single day, including during menstruation. And if you miss any days, you need to use another form of contraception until you are sure it is safe again.

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