Fertility awareness as a method of birth control involves tracking your safe and unsafe days according to your menstrual cycle. It’s also known as natural family planning and it has been practiced for a long time.
Women use phone apps, calendar markers, cervical positions, uterine mucus and temperature monitoring to determine what the safe days and fertile days are.
To date, studies are still being done on this method of family planning in order to reduce risks and increase effectiveness. Below are some of the things you need to know about this form of natural birth control.
Fertility awareness has a number of advantages:
More and more people are becoming aware of this type of alternative to contraception and barrier methods of family planning. For many women, methods such as the use of pills and devices to prevent unplanned pregnancies are simply too intrusive.
- It doesn’t have side effects
This type of birth control method has an upper hand over other methods of contraception because it doesn’t have hormonal effects. The use of pills and hormones can alter your emotions and make you more irritable and emotional unlike fertility awareness.
- There is no weight gain
Women are generally self-conscious about how much weight they put on. When you are working towards your weight goals and you are using pills or devices, the hormones released can make you have a harder time when trying to shed off some weight.
- There are reduced health concerns
The use of other methods of family planning could pose some health risk concerns. Continuous use of some of these contraceptives has been linked to blood clots that cause strokes or even fertility problems when they damage the cervix. With natural tracking, there is nothing added to your body that could pose such health risks. This is why some couples opt for this method.
- It’s inexpensive
IUDs, injections, condoms and other methods of family planning could really put a dent in your wallet. For some of them, you have to pay consultation fees and pay for the procedures at hospitals and this could be costly. When it comes to natural birth control, the most you’ll need to buy is a thermometer to measure your basal temperature or a tracking app off the internet and that’s about it.
However, there are also many disadvantages that come with this method of family planning.
- It’s demanding
Despite being advantageous, fertility awareness can be very hard to keep up with. Both partners need to be committed to the process of monitoring temperatures, assessing the cervix, observing the calendar and other processes that come with it.
- It has a high failure rate
The main reason why many people don’t opt for fertility awareness is because it can easily fail to work. The fact that it’s very delicate and can easily fail when you make a mistake while tracking is enough to make people dump it for other methods of family planning.
- It doesn’t protect you from diseases
Natural birth control doesn’t help you when it comes to risks such as STDs and HIV. Unlike condoms, it’s unable to keep you protected and free from getting sexually contracted diseases.
- You can’t have sex when you want to
Those who opt for this method of family planning have to abstain from sex at certain times. Couples have to stick to a certain routine and this can be quite stressful and frustrating especially is they are completely against condoms.
Fertility awareness has many advantages and disadvantages about it. Now that you are more aware, is it something you would be willing to try?
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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke