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Natural Contraceptives

[ Fertility Awareness | Abstinence ]

Fertility Awareness

Effectiveness (Theoretical)
Effectiveness (Real World)

Fertility Awareness Methods (two are noted below) are designed to help determine on which days of the menstrual cycle a woman is likely to become pregnant.

The Basal Body Temperature Method requires women to take their temperature every morning before getting out of bed. A small rise of less than one degree occurs when the egg is released, which is carefully recorded. Couples must not have sex from the end of the menstrual period until three days after this rise in temperature.

In the Ovulation Method, changes in vaginal secretions during different phases of the menstrual cycle are observed. Following menstruation, vaginal mucus will become increasingly wet and slippery until the time of ovulation when thick, sticky mucus appears. Couples must not have sex for four days after the 'peak' day of mucus is noticed.

No additional hormones are introduced into the body, no pills need to be taken daily, and nothing needs to be inserted before intercourse.

These methods require dedication and discipline as sex cannot occur for several days a month. The typical effectiveness rate for these methods is only 80%. This is because many women report losing track of their menstrual pattern, or forget to take their temperature every day. Illness, vaginal or cervical infections, stress, and alcohol may also reduce the effectiveness of these methods. In addition, medical guidance is needed to learn how to use Fertility Awareness techniques successfully. These methods are not recommended for women who have irregular periods. Fertility Awareness Methods do not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases.

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