Instead of involving medications or devices to prevent pregnancy, natural methods are based on practicing certain behaviours in regard to female fertility and the menstrual cycle.
Fertility awareness methods
Fertility awareness is all about knowing when you’re most likely to get pregnant based on your menstrual cycle and avoiding unprotected sex during that time.
Conception can occur when sexual intercourse takes place during the fertile window, from 5 days before to 1 day after ovulation.
How it works
To become familiar with your menstrual cycle, there are a lot of methods to determine when ovulation occurs (or you can combine all of them). Using these methods, you can calculate your fertile window and avoid having sex during this time.
How it's done
- Measuring your basal body temperature every day and charting it on a special form.
- Checking your urine with an ovulation kit to measure the luteinizing hormone (LH) hormone levels.
- Observing changes in your cervical mucus.
- Using an app to follow the calendar method and track your menstrual cycles and ovulation.
76% effective based on typical use (for 1 year).
- No side effects.
- Low cost.
- Boosts awareness about your own body.
- This method is the least effective in preventing pregnancy.
- Requires a lot of practice to learn how to use this method correctly.
- It can be tricky, because not all menstrual cycles are regular.
- Can be challenging to avoid sex at certain times.
- Requires both partners to be fully committed to using the method.
- Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDs.