Also Called Rhythm Method or Calendar Method
Ovulation is the process by which each month an egg is released from an ovary and travels down one of the fallopian tubes. If a sperm reaches the egg in the fallopian tube it may join the egg, and then the egg becomes a fertilized egg. Conception has then occurred.
Most natural family planning methods are based on understanding when the egg is likely to be released, and then avoiding sexual intercourse at that time (a 3 to 5 day timeframe), and therefore avoiding pregnancy.
The two most common types of Natural Family Planning methods are:
- Temperature Method – Most women’s body temperature increases slightly just after ovulation. Again, ovulation is when the egg is released from the ovary. To use the Temperature Method a woman takes her temperature using a basal thermometer each morning when she awakes. She will then note the temperature on a graph. Over time, she will likely recognize when she starts ovulating. Also over time, she should be able to pretty accurately predict when ovulation is likely to begin. To learn more about this method, go to: About Temperature Method and Charting Temperature
- Cervical Mucus Method – Mucus is produced naturally by the cervix and changes based on ovulation and a woman’s hormones. Women can check regularly and notice when the texture and look of the mucus changes. Just before ovulation, the mucus becomes clear and slippery which promotes the transportation of the sperm to the egg. To learn more about this method, go to: About Cervical Mucus and Checking Cervical Mucus
This method is one of the free birth control methods because it does not cost the woman anything. It can also be considered a no hormone birth control method, since no hormones are taken by a pill or through a patch.