You may have heard of the calendar rhythm method. This method involves calculating your estimated ovulation dates and avoiding risky sexual practices (such as vaginal penetration and ejaculation near the vulva) or opting for another method of contraception, like condoms, during this time.
It is a method that requires several months of observing your cycle and requires a lot of self-control. It is not recommended for people who experience irregular periods, because the calculation of your fertile days may be inaccurate. In addition, there are several things beyond your control that can affect your cycle. Beware of fertility tracking applications as they do not always consider each person’s differences or factors that could affect your cycle.
The symptothermal method
Like the calendar rhythm method, the symptothermal method identifies your most fertile window, when you have the greatest chance of having an unwanted pregnancy. During this period, risky sexual activities (such as vaginal penetration and ejaculation near the vulva) should be avoided or practiced along with an alternative method of contraception, like condoms. This method is based on the daily and long-term observation of the following three signs of fertility:
- Changes in your cervical mucus levels throughout your cycle.
- Changes in the positioning and feel of your cervix throughout your cycle.
- Your temperature, taken orally or vaginally, every morning when you wake up.