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Natural family planning for birth control using a calendar

What is Natural Family Planning?

Natural family planning is a natural method of contraception and doesn't require any hormonal changes through pills, etc. In this method, the couple has to track the woman's most fertile days and abstain from sex during these days.

There are three ways to track fertility:

1. Tracking the length of menstruation cycle

2. Tracking the basal body temperature

3. Tracking the vaginal/cervical discharge

How does each of these methods work?

1. Tracking the length of menstruation cycle : In this process, women have to track the menstruation cycle and avoid sex between the 8th to the 17th day of her cycle, since these are the most fertile days. Day 1 of the menstruation cycle is the first day when you start bleeding. It's important to track the cycle for at-least an year to understand the pattern of your cycle. The couple can use condom or other contraception during these fertile days.

2. Tracking the basal body temperature (BBT): In this process, women need to take her basal temperature every morning at almost the same time. This should be done as the first act after waking up. Keep a diary to write down the temperature everyday. When you start ovulating, the basal body temperature increases by 0.4 to 1.0 degree. And it remains high until your next period. 

Use a special thermometer which is designed for measuring basal body temperature.

Also, this method only works for women who have regular and timely periods. Once you start tracking the temperature, you need to abstain from sex for at least 7 days before the basal body temperature increases/you start to ovulate.

3. Tracking the vaginal/cervical discharge: Similar to BBT method above, the women needs to maintain a record to understand her ovulation cycle. This method is also effective if the women has regular and timely periods. 

In this process, you track the vaginal discharge. It is generally very wet, clear and stretchy (just like egg white), when you are ovulating. If you track this for a couple of months, you can predict the timeline of ovulation and thereby, abstain from sex for 7 days before ovulation.

Please note that the women might not get their periods while they are breastfeeding. It's very difficult to implement natural family planning. Try other contraception methods during this phase.


Effectiveness: 75% 

How long does it Last:  Abstinence from sex after preparing a calendar with a doctor

Cost: Free

Where to Buy: Natural solution

STD Protection: No

Safe During Pregnancy: Yes

Side Effects: 

  • Not always effective, can result in unplanned pregnancy,

  • Contracting STDs

When to Avoid: 

  • In cases when either partner has a STD or Urinary Tract Infection

  • Irregular periods

  • Have recently had a miscarriage or an abortion

  • History of depression

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