Fertility Awareness Methods

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Inexpensive and hormone-free

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Fertility awareness methods are also known as natural family planning. It involves tracking and knowing your menstrual cycle to determine the days you can become pregnant. You will need to pay close attention to your body and its patterns.

Pros
  • Doesn’t cost a thing – unless you purchase supplies to help track your fertility
  • No prescription needed
  • No hormones
  • No side effects
  • Helps you learn more about your body and how it works
  • Can use when while breastfeeding
Cons
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs, including HIV
  • Takes planning, record- keeping, and self-control
  • Requires abstinence (or use of an alternate method) for at least a week per cycle
  • Both partners need to participate 100%
  • If you have irregular periods, the Calendar Method and the Standard Day Method won’t work
  • Are unable to use hormonal methods while tracking your cycle

Types of Fertility Awareness Methods

Standard Days Method (SDM)

If your menstrual cycle is between 26 and 32 days long, you can use this method to record your periods and determine when you can’t become pregnant. You can use CycleBeads that are colored beads to help track your menstrual cycle.

Two Day Method (TDM)

You will observe your vaginal discharge and cervical mucus to see when you’re fertile. If you notice any discharge of any type either today or yesterday, you will consider yourself fertile.

Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

You will record your body temperature every single morning to determine whether or not you’re ovulating.

Symptothermal Method

Using several methods at once to track your fertility or when you are fertile to know when you are most likely to become pregnant by tracking your vaginal discharge, basal temperature, periods, and how open your cervix feels.

Lactational Amenhorrea Method

Breastfeeding naturally suppresses fertility. If you’ve just had a baby and are breastfeeding in a specific way can help prevent pregnancy.

How to Use

With fertility awareness methods you will track your menstrual cycle. There are several different methods that can either be used alone or in combination. All involve observing changes in your body and determining where you are in your menstrual cycle. When you are fertile, you can either not have sex or use a backup method to prevent pregnancy.

Effort

Fertility awareness methods take effort, commitment, planning, record-keeping, and self-control. To make it more effect, use serval methods at once. Be prepared not to have sex for at least 7 days out of every month. If you do have sex on your fertile days, use a backup method.

Effectiveness

Fertility awareness methods are not always the most effective methods. With perfect use, they are 87% effective, but typical use is 82% effective.

Side Effects

There are no side effects with fertility awareness methods.

Pregnancy

You can become pregnant at any time! In fact, fertility awareness methods may even help you become pregnant if you are ready.

How to Get

Fertility awareness method supplies can be found online or in some stores. You can also take classes to learn more about fertility awareness methods. You can check to see if a family planning clinic near you offers any classes or to set up a time to talk to a healthcare provider about tracking your fertility.

Cost

Fertility awareness methods don’t cost anything unless you want to purchase some supplies to help you track your fertility.


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