Although not widely used, there is currently a growing interest in “natural methods” of contraception, which are promoted by some organizations. This article examines current use of these methods through interviews with users as well as an online ethnography of dedicated websites and forums. A historical analysis of natural methods of contraception and how they are implemented in society shows that the promised “nature” is in reality only available to certain women. A study of their status in the French birth control landscape, where they meet a broader desire on the part of some women to “free themselves from hormones” and to get to know themselves better, but also to better balance the contraceptive burden in the heterosexual couple, shows that such practices are strongly based on the essentialization of the female body and gender roles according to which procreative work remains the woman’s role.
- Natural Methods