Natural Family Planning

With natural family planning, you don't use drugs or devices, but a variety of techniques. The basic principle is abstaining from unprotected sex during your most fertile times of the month, so these methods take a lot of cooperation from your partner as well.

The success of these natural techniques depends on how well you get to know when you're ovulating, and avoiding sex-or using alternative methods-during those times. Even if you're careful, natural methods are only about 75% effective.

Calendar method

For a long time, this has also been called the rhythm method, because you use a calendar to figure out your body's rhythm, or menstrual cycle. Then, avoid sex during the fertile period.

Basal body temperature

By taking your temperature every day, you can detect the slight increase that indicates ovulation. This is time to abstain, or use alternatives. Women who are trying to become pregnant sometimes use this method in reverse.

Cervical mucus

You can detect ovulation, and time to abstain, by noting changes in your cervical mucus.

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Natural Family Planning

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