FERTILITY AWARENESS

Other Method

Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) (sometimes called natural family planning) are practices that help someone determine when they are most likely to get pregnant (the fertile window) so that they can either avoid sexual activity or use barrier methods during that time to avoid pregnancy.1

FERTILITY AWARENESS

Other Method

Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) (sometimes called natural family planning) are practices that help someone determine when they are most likely to get pregnant (the fertile window) so that they can either avoid sexual activity or use barrier methods during that time to avoid pregnancy.1

Duration2

Regularly

BENEFITS

It's acceptable to all faiths and cultures2

Hormone free2

 

    PROS OF FERTILITY AWARENESS

    • No medical side effects3
    • No hormones.2
    • You may predict the fertile window by using calendar or counting the days from previous menstrual periods.1
    • It doesn't cause any side effects. Natural family planning is acceptable to all faiths and cultures.3
    • Most women can use natural family planning, as long as they're properly trained by a fertility awareness teacher.3
    • Once you've learned the techniques, there should be no further need for input from health professionals.3
    • Natural family planning can be used either to avoid pregnancy or to become pregnant.3
    • It doesn't involve chemicals or physical products.3
    • It can help you recognize normal and abnormal vaginal secretions, so you can be aware of possible infection.3
    • It involves your partner in the process, which can help increase feelings of closeness and trust.3
    Pros

    CONS OF FERTILITY AWARENESS

    • It won't work without continued commitment and practice.3
    • You'll need to keep a daily record of your fertility signs.3
    • Requires commitment from both partners1
    • High failure rate1
    • Decreases spontaneous intercourse1
    • Can’t be relied on immediately – most methods require several months of use before relying on it1
    • Does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)1
    Cons

     

      COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS

      Fertility Awareness is the technique of working out exactly what stage of your menstrual cycle you are in and at which stages you are not fertile and having sex at those times. The Fertility Awareness Method requires a woman to observe fertility signs. There are a number of different methods such as tracking the days of your cycle, paying attention to body temperature fluctuations and keeping a very close eye on changes to your cervical mucus. There are several more techniques but they can all be thrown by slight changes to your cycle, a miscalculation, spontaneous lifestyle resulting in non-regular sleeping time or a host of other variables. Definitely not a recommendation for the forgetful, the disorganized or the spontaneous.

      Fertility Awareness Method
      How to use the Fertility Awareness

      HOW TO

      Each technique is complex and relies on a deep and intimate knowledge of your own menstrual cycle. The techniques base themselves on the fact that there are specific days during each menstrual cycle, the days before and shortly after ovulation, where you can get pregnant and others where you cannot, which is where the intimate knowledge and the calculations come in. If fertility awareness interests you, it is advised to use a barrier method, e.g. diaphragmcervical cap or condom, or not have sex on the days you are fertile. If you want to get pregnant, fertility awareness can help you to know which days you should be having sex to become pregnant.

      PROS / CONS

      • No medical side effects1
      • No hormones.2
      • Can also be used to figure out when someone is fertile if they are trying to get pregnant.1
      • It won't work without continued commitment and practice.3
      • You'll need to keep a daily record of your fertility signs.3
      • Requires commitment from both partners1
      • High failure rate1
      • Decreases spontaneous intercourse1
      • Can’t be relied on immediately – most methods require several months of use before relying on it1
      • Does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)1

      FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

        Yes. However the couples must be highly motivated, well-trained in their method, and committed to avoiding unprotected sex during the fertile time.

        For many couples, these methods provide reliable information about the fertile days. If the couple avoids vaginal sex, or uses condoms, a cervical cap or diaphragm during the woman's fertile time, fertility awareness methods can be effective. Using withdrawal or spermicides during the fertile time is less effective and not recommended.

        The number of days varies based on the woman's cycle length. The average number of days a woman would be considered fertile and would need to abstain or use another method varies between 12 to 18 days dependent on the fertility awareness tracking methodology. To avoid an unintended pregnancy you must use another contraceptive method, such as condoms, during your fertile days.

        As women and their cycles are different, ovulation varies depending on the length of your cycle, which can range from 21 days up to 35 days.
        Let’s have a look at two examples:
        Ovulation happens about 14 days before your menstruation starts. That means: if your average menstrual cycle for example is 28 days, you ovulate around day 14, and your most fertile days are days 12, 13 and 14. If your average menstrual cycle is 35 days ovulation happens around day 21 and your most fertile days are days 19, 20 and 21. How to count your cycle? The first day of your menstruation is the beginning of a new cycle, hence day 1.

        During monthly bleeding the chances of pregnancy are low but not zero. Bleeding itself does not prevent pregnancy, and it does not promote pregnancy, either. In the first several days of monthly bleeding, the chances of pregnancy are lowest. As the days pass, the chances of pregnancy increase, whether or not she is still bleeding. The risk of pregnancy rises until ovulation. The day after ovulation the chances of pregnancy begin to drop steadily. Some fertility awareness methods that depend on cervical secretions advise avoiding unprotected sex during monthly bleeding because cervical secretions cannot be detected during bleeding and there is a small risk of ovulation at this time.

        References:

        1-Options for sexual health. USING THE FERTILITY AWARENESS METHOD (FAM). Available at : Reference  Last Accessed: (12/7/2021).

        2-SexWise. Fertility awareness methods. Available at : Reference  Last Accessed: (12/7/2021).

        3-NHS. Natural family planning (fertility awareness). Available at : Reference  Last Accessed: (12/7/2021).

        Fertility awareness QR

         

        WF0087A1273/122021
        16/12/2022
        PP-PF-WHC-EG-0043-1

        SUPPORTED BY

        A coalition of international partners with an interest in sexual and reproductive health