Because women have different needs than men, when we prepare for a SHTF scenario, we must consider those needs. In the first part of our “Prepping as a Woman” series, we discussed how to prepare for women-related needs in a long-term emergency. In the second part of this series, we will expound on that and discuss birth control and how to deal with pregnancy prevention during a catastrophe.
Let’s get right into another controversial, uncomfortable, but necessary topic for female preppers:
The obvious answer is this problem is to stockpile prophylactics like condoms. But these have a shelf life and become less effective with age, so having a stockpile of 20-year-old condoms won’t do you a whole lot of good! Another option that isn’t as easy seems like it would be oh-so-simple on the surface. Just stock up on contraceptives. However, most contraceptives are only available by prescription and that makes it almost impossible to stockpile. Not only that, you will run into the same problem as you do with stockpiling condoms – if you do manage to store a year’s worth of birth control pills, their effectiveness will lessen as time goes on eventually making you vulnerable to pregnancy.
That doesn’t mean if you CAN store some pills and condoms that you shouldn’t, you definitely could and if it eases your mind, go for it! But you should also consider using another method to protect yourself when using older birth control pills, or when those condoms run out or expire. Fortunately, there is a natural way to prevent pregnancy that could be useful during an apocalyptic event – whether you’ve stockpiled contraceptives or not.
NOTE: This advice is for the female preppers who have a partner and are looking to avoid pregnancy during and after the SHTF. This guide could also possibly be useful to those looking for a more natural way to prevent pregnancy as opposed to taking a pill every day.
The easiest way to use a natural birth control method may be the “thermometer” method. As far as we know, thermometers can be stockpiled pretty easily! (I only say that because I am really good at dropping and breaking things and having a backup or two might be a good idea if you are as clumsy as I am.) And, all joking aside, many women do use this as their only method of birth control choosing to go fully natural and stay away from the hormone-altering contraceptives.
The thermometer method (also often called the BBT or Basal Body Temperature method) works by using the temperature of your body upon waking in the morning. It’s important to take your temperature at the same time every day, and right when you wake up for the utmost accuracy. Don’t check your phone first or get up to use to the bathroom. Hold it for a few seconds so you can get an accurate reading if at all possible. The better you are at taking your temperature at the same time before doing ANYTHING else, the more accurate you will be and the more effective this method becomes.
After taking your temperature, you need to record it on a chart. You can buy some charts, print some for free off the internet, make your own, or use a smartphone app. (Obviously, you’ll want to know how to track your cycle on paper too and have extra charts available in case there is no way to power your smartphone.) There are books available to help you understand where to begin and how to read your charts. [Click here for free printable charts]
The changes in your temperature will be really small, tenths of a degree, in fact, so get a special large-scale basal thermometer. Some basal thermometers are used in your mouth, and others are used in your rectum (butt). Rectal thermometers are usually more accurate and reliable however they are also more uncomfortable and take longer to clean. You’ll need to take extra care to disinfect a rectal thermometer, so bear that in mind.
The basic idea is to find out when you ovulate and avoid sexual intercourse during those days to prevent pregnancy. This method is incredibly accurate if you can learn it, use it religiously, and get really in tune with your body and your charts. If you want to implement this birth control method, it is suggested that you wait for three months before going off contraceptives just to make sure you have 3 charts to reference. The more you can learn about your own body, the better and more effective this method becomes. It does get easier too, so don’t freak out if your first few weeks are rough.
BIRTH CONTROL DEVICES
This one is pretty simple – we just aren’t going to suggest any of these for the female prepper. Internal Uterine Devices (IUDs) fall into this category. They could work and be effective, but they need to be administered and removed by a doctor which isn’t helpful during a catastrophe or shortage of doctors. They also come with side effects and complications that could make your life miserable without a SHTF situation taking place. If you decide one of these is right for you, do your research and understand the possibilities, risks, and effectiveness.
The thermometer method has zero side effects (unless you eat the thermometer, please don’t) and for that reason, we will stick with that as our suggestion.
Learning how to naturally provide birth control for yourself could be an invaluable tool! You will still be able to be intimate with your husband or partner while having some peace of mind during a highly stressful situation. This is TRUELY the essence of prepping because you need to learn how to use this method before things go bad and implement the system beforehand to make sure it’s effective and will work for you!
As female preppers, we can do anything! If you are a female prepper and have any advice about birth control after the SHTF, please let your fellow women preppers know in the comments!
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes ONLY! This article should not be misconstrued to be a political or religious statement of any kind. This is simply a guide for women who would like to prevent pregnancy during an apocalyptic situation or use a natural pregnancy prevention method currently.