Fertility Awareness Methods

Updated: MAY 26, 2020

Fertility awareness methods are ways to prevent pregnancy by tracking ovulation and thus being aware of when a woman might be fertile. The idea is to keep sperm out of the vagina on days when a woman is most fertile either by abstaining from sexual activity or by employing a barrier method such as a condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap. Withdrawal is another option.

More About Fertility Awareness Methods

There are several different fertility awareness methods:

Temperature method involves taking one's temperature each day before getting out of bed; cervical mucus method which requires checking the changes in cervical mucus every day for the first part of one's cycle until it is certain ovulation has occurred; and calendar method where cycles are charted on a calendar. All three of the above methods can be combined in what is called the symptothermal method. Finally, there is the standard days method: the menstrual cycle is tracked for several months to ensure that it is consistently between 26 and 32 days long. Once it is certain that the cycle is never outside that range, unprotected vaginal intercourse is avoided between days 8 and 19.


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