Tips For Natural Family Planning

Natural family planning (sometimes called the rhythm method) means keeping track of the days during the month when a woman is most likely to become pregnant.

For a woman with a normal menstrual cycle it is believed her fertile time is approximately the five days before ovulation and the one or two days following ovulation.  Intercourse should be avoided during this time period to avoid pregnancy.

There are several methods that are used to determine a woman’s most fertile days.  We’ll take a look at two of those methods.

One method is the cervical mucus method.  With this method you watch the changes in the color and/or thickness of the cervical mucus during the  month.

Shortly after a woman’s period she has a dry time when no mucus is present.  Pregnancy is not likely to occur during this dry period.  As time for ovulation nears the mucus becomes more sticky with a white or yellow color.  Unprotected sex during this time is not safe if pregnancy is to be avoided.  Just before ovulation the mucus becomes clear and slippery and this is the most dangerous time when a woman is likely to conceive.

A second method is the basal body temperature method.  If you take your basal body temperature each morning when you awake and keep a basal body temperature chart of these temperatures you will notice a slight increase in temperature during the month.  This  temperature increase indicates the time when ovulation takes place.  Its best to keep track of your basal body temperature using a basal temperature thermometer purchased at a drug store.  This method does not let you know  exactly when it is a fertile time, but it can give you a pretty good idea.  The couple of days before and the day after your temperature peaks are the most dangerous times for getting pregnant.

There are instructors available who teach natural family planning methods. For those practicing this form of birth control it is imperative that both partners are committed to making it work.  Just one of the partners cannot practice natural family planning.  Both partners have to be agreeable to  not engage in sex during the fertile time periods.

Natural family planning is not foolproof.  Each year there are some unplanned pregnancies for couples using natural family planning methods.  The more types of natural family planning methods you use and use correctly the less likely unplanned pregnancy will occur.