Natural family planning refers to a birth control method that helps you avoid or achieve conception without contraception like pills and condoms. You avoid potentially adverse effects of incompatible pills and contraceptive devices when you choose natural family planning. But if you use this, you need to know the menstrual cycle and how it works.
The main focus of natural family planning is identifying a person’s fertility period, so you know the days to avoid having intercourse. To help you get started, here are some of the most common methods you can use for natural family planning.
calendar method is one of the oldest known ways of natural birth
control. You make an educational guess about your fertility period by
determining the patterns and “schedule” of your menstrual cycle.
That is why it is also called the rhythm method.
guessing game, if you will, begins by trying an
for a rough estimate. You can also study the pattern yourself by
noting down the days of your period.
use the calendar method, keep in mind that the average monthly cycle
usually spans 28 to 32 days. You also need to first record your own
cycle for 6 to 12 cycles as a baseline. After tracking these, do the
18 days from the end of the shortest of your previous cycles.
11 days from the longest of your previous cycles.
the gap between these two gets the estimated span of your fertility
the calendar method does not apply to all women, especially if you do
not have a regular menstrual cycle. It is difficult to follow a
pattern when there is no pattern to determine.
stress, medications, and other health conditions can also affect your
cycle, making it difficult to predict when you ovulate. Hence, it is
not uncommon for people to use the calendar method with other
Basal Body Temperature
body temperature (BBT) refers to the temperature you have when you
are fully at rest. During ovulation, this temperature increases by
0.2°C (0.4°F). Hence, when you notice this shift in BBT, you can
identify the day that you ovulate.
practice this method, you need a digital oral thermometer or acquire
one specially designed to take BBT. Take your temperature each
morning at the same time, just as you have woken up. This will help
you determine your average BBT. An increase in temperature may
signify ovulation, and you should continue to monitor it over three
key drawback to the BBT method is it does not tell you when you are
about to ovulate. It only shows you when you have most likely already
ovulated. Hence, it becomes significantly useful for couples trying
to conceive and not so much for those trying to avoid a pregnancy.
Cervical Mucus Tracking
the span of a menstrual cycle, the cervix produces mucus. It refers
to the gooey substance of the cervix that comes out as vaginal
discharge. The mucus changes throughout the cycle, especially during
ovulation. By tracking its changes in color, texture, amount, and
consistency, you can gauge when you are fertile.
are the general observations on mucus after a person’s period:
1-4 — no noticeable secretions
5-9 — cloudy, sticky
10-13 — abundant, clear, wet
the mucus is abundant, clear, and wet, you are or are close to
to the previous methods, cervical mucus tracking comes with its
pitfalls. Firstly, cervical mucus can vary significantly from one
person to another. It is difficult to say for sure that a set of
characteristics can pinpoint where you are at in your menstrual
this method requires you to be consistent and diligent. You need to
check your cervical mucus every day and jot it down in your menstrual
chart. Because it is difficult to predict without practice, you
cannot rely on this method alone if you are trying to avoid a
symptothermal method is, simply put, a combination of different
approaches to natural family planning. It uses BBT, cervical mucus
tracking, and the calendar method—among other approaches and
devices—to help you gauge your fertility period.
this method, you use cervical mucus tracking as a baseline and
double-check the results with other methods. If all the results
correspond to each other, you can make an educated guess when you are
ovulating or if your ovulation is imminent.
method can help you more accurately determine the state of your body.
Hence, it is often the go-to approach that a lot of people use for
natural birth control.
family planning is not easy, but it is can be accomplished. Make sure to
do your due research and consult with your doctor to find the best
method for your family planning needs.