Introduction to The Fertility Awareness Method
Have you ever wondered which birth control has the least side effects or considered using ‘natural birth control?’ For most hormonal birth control methods, the list of side effects seems to be about a mile long. It’s no wonder many uterus-owners turn to natural family planning methods, such as the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). But, like any method of birth control, there are important limitations to consider alongside the benefits.
This article was reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Kirti Patel, MD, MHL a board-certified gynecologist at UMass Memorial Healthcare and the Chief Medical Officer of The POV.
The "Spark Notes"
What is the Fertility Awareness Method?
The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), sometimes called natural family planning or natural birth control, is a form of birth control based on closely monitoring your body. It involves detecting ovulation by tracking your menstrual cycle, cervical mucus, and temperature.
When preventing pregnancy via The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), you must abstain from sex during your most fertile days. Alternatively, you can use barrier contraceptives during your fertile window.
The effectiveness of The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) varies on how diligently you track and analyze signs of fertility.
How Effective is The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)?
The effectiveness of The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) depends on:
The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) can be effective for folks that use it diligently. In reality, few users will achieve perfect use of this method. Among women and uterus-owners who use The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) inconsistently or incorrectly, up to 24 out of 100 will become pregnant each year.
How Does The Fertility Awareness Method Work?
The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) relies on your ability to identify when you’re ovulating. There are several ways to track your ovulation cycle and fertility, and using a combination of the methods improves effectiveness.
Here are some of the most common methods incorporated into natural family planning:
What Are The Benefits of The Fertility Awareness Method?
Natural birth control and family planning has several advantages. For example, it:
Practicing natural family planning will also help you become more in tune with your body and learn about fertility. This may be helpful should you choose to become pregnant in the future.
What Are The Disadvantages of The Fertility Awareness Method?
The primary disadvantages are the relatively low effectiveness and difficulty to implement and maintain.
How Do I Decide if The Fertility Awareness Method is Right For Me?
If you're thinking about implementing FAM, here are a few things to ask yourself?
How Can I Make Natural Birth Control Easier?
There are various apps and tools on the marketplace that can assist you in using natural birth control. The cost, level of involvement, and method varies significantly. Some examples of options are:
Pro Tip: Many fertility apps allow you to share data with a partner, allowing you to both play a role in planning intimate time
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