Fertility is a way of preventing pregnancy through natural family planning. It is done by a woman monitoring and recording different fertility signs throughout her menstrual cycle to determine when she is most likely to get pregnant. She can prevent pregnancy by avoiding unprotected sex during her most fertile days through abstaining or implementing a barrier method.
There are several ways to monitor the most fertile times within a monthly cycle. The calendar-based method includes the “Standard Days Method”, where one avoids unprotected sex on days 8 through 19 of the menstrual cycle, and the “Calendar Rhythm Method” where women track their menstrual cycle to predict time of ovulation.
Symptoms-based methods is when a woman tracks other signs of fertility, such as cervical secretions, vaginal wetness, or basal body temperature. Basal body temperature is when the resting body temperature increases slightly after ovulation. It is unlikely for a woman to become pregnant 3 days after this temperature rises through the start of menstruation as the temperature stays higher.
These methods are about 77-98% effective as they require daily tracking by the woman, and cooperation from the partner to ensure there is no unprotected sex during fertile days. There are no side effects or health risks that occur from this method, but individuals should ensure they are committed to effort this method takes to prevent unintended pregnancies.
MCI is working to develop additional methods that individuals can use for pregnancy prevention that will focus on sperm producers, and will also be non-hormonal. We hope to make "Reproductive Autonomy for All" a reality.
Nuts & Bolts: Fertility Awareness