Wot Wud U Do?
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A method of contraception where you identify the signs and symptoms of fertility during your menstrual cycle so you can plan or avoid pregnancy. The 3 different fertility signals you can monitor; Length of menstrual cycle Daily readings of body temperature Changes to your cervical secretions

How effective are they?

Perfect use: can be up to 99% effective  if the natural family planning methods are followed precisely. These include monitoring cervical secretions and your basal body temperature. It's more effective if more than one method is used and it's taught by specialist teachers. Up to 1 in 100 women will get pregnant in a year when using this method perfectly.

Typical use: around 76% effective. Around 24 in 100 women using natural family planning will get pregnant in a year.

What are the advantages?

  • Once the techniques have been learned there is no further input needed from health professionals,
  • Helps you recognise normal and abnormal vaginal secretions,
  • Doesn't involve chemicals or physical products,
  • The majority of women can use this method,
  • Can be used to avoid or plan for pregnancy,
  • Involves partner,
  • No side effects.

What makes them less effective to the disadvantages?

  • You have to keep a daily record of your fertility signals, such as your temperature and the fluids coming from your cervix – it takes 3 to 6 menstrual (monthly) cycles to learn the method,
  • If you used the emergency contraception you will have to wait 2 complete cycles before relying on this method again,
  • During the time you want to avoid getting pregnant you will have to use other contraception,
  • Your fertility signals can be affected by illness, stress and travel,
  • Wont work without continued commitment.

Risks

  • Doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections

You should talk to your doctor or health professional as certain situations can affect fertility signs but also about risk factors such as smoking, your age or medical history before you decide on natural family planning as your method of contraception.