Using fertility awareness methods (FAMs), you can monitor your ovulation and avoid getting pregnant. FAMs are also known as “the rhythm approach” and “natural family planning.”
Kinds of Fertility Awareness Method?
You can monitor your menstrual cycle with fertility awareness techniques to learn when your ovaries release an egg each month (this is called ovulation).
Your fertile days—the times when you’re most likely to become pregnant—occur close to ovulation. In order to avoid getting pregnant, people utilize FAMs, abstaining from intercourse or using another form of birth control, such as condoms, during those “unsafe” fertile days.
The tracking of your fertility indications can be done using a variety of FAMs. To determine when you’ll ovulate, you can utilize one or more of the following techniques:
- The Temperature Method: Before getting out of bed each morning, you take your temperature.
- The Cervical Mucus Method: Requires daily examination of vaginal discharge, often known as cervical mucus.
- The Calendar Method: involves keeping track of your menstrual cycle.
Combining all three of these techniques yields the best results. They are together referred to as the symptothermal approach.
The calendar approach is modified by the Standard Days Method. You must chart your menstrual cycle for several months to determine whether it is always between 26 and 32 days long; if it is longer or shorter, you cannot utilize this method. You use a different method of birth control (or abstain from vaginal sex) on days 8 through 19, which is when you’re fertile, once you’ve determined that your cycle is within the proper range.
How well do fertility awareness method works?
FAMs are around 77-98% successful, which indicates that depending on the method(s) employed, 2-23 out of every 100 couples that utilize FAMs will become pregnant each year. FAMs function significantly better when used in combination with one another.
The more diligent you are about using FAMs correctly—tracking your fertility signals every day and abstaining from sex or taking birth control on days deemed to be “unsafe”—the more successful they’ll be. Even if you use them flawlessly every time, you could still become pregnant.
Because they can be challenging to use, fertility awareness techniques don’t work as well as other birth control methods. Want to avoid getting pregnant with more ease? Take this quiz to determine the most effective birth control option for you or look into IUDs and implants.
How can I increase the effectiveness of FAMs?
Like all forms of birth control, FAMs work best when used exactly as directed. The effectiveness of FAMs also depends on both partners, therefore it’s critical that each of you is supportive and knowledgeable about the techniques.
FAMs work best if and when:
- To understand how to properly use FAMs, you collaborate with a nurse, doctor, or counselor who is knowledgeable about them.
- You have the discipline and time to track your cycle each day and monitor your fertility markers.
- You and your partner don’t mind using contraception other than vaginal sex during your fertile days.
Combining the temperature, cervical mucus, and calendar approaches is the ideal way to use FAMs. Combining these approaches provides you the clearest picture of your fertility and improves the accuracy of FAMs because each one of these methods uses various indications to predict your fertile days. Keeping track of your cervical mucus pattern, for instance, can be helpful if your temperature chart becomes inaccurate due to illness or stress. Additionally, employing multiple methods may enable you to reduce the number of productive days each month, increasing the number of safe days.
What must I understand regarding my menstrual cycle and fertility?
You need to learn a lot about your menstrual cycle in order to use FAMs. You need to be aware of your ovulation cycle, your viable window, and the best times to have sex without running the danger of becoming pregnant.
An egg and a sperm cell must unite for pregnancy to occur (this is called fertilization). Your fertile days are the days during your menstrual cycle when it is possible for sperm to fertilize an egg and result in pregnancy.
Your ovary releases an egg into your fallopian tube each month (this is called ovulation). About 12 to 24 hours pass while your egg is in your fallopian tube. For up to 6 days after sex, sperm can stay in your fallopian tube and uterus. The fertilized egg goes from your fallopian tube to your uterus (womb) and may connect to the uterine wall, which begins a pregnancy, if a sperm cell does unite with your egg in the tube. If your egg is not fertilized, it will eventually dissolve and you will start having periods.
You are essentially fertile for seven days during every menstrual cycle: the five days prior to ovulation and the day of ovulation. This is because an egg lives for approximately a day after ovulation and sperm for around six days after intercourse. A day or two after ovulation, you can still become pregnant, although the likelihood is lower.
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