Maintaining women's sexual and reproductive health is important, especially for women who are already sexually active. Some people maintain sexual and reproductive health with available contraceptives. These contraceptives can help prevent pregnancy or create distance between pregnancies.
Using contraceptives during sexual intercourse can protect women from various Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). However, not many women understand the importance of using these contraceptives. As a result, many women experience unwanted pregnancies, either because they are underage or the time in between pregnancies are too short.
Thus, before it is too late, you need to know how to prevent pregnancy. A method to prevent pregnancy that is common and often used is to use a family planning device either in the form of pills, injections, or Intrauterine Devices (IUDs). However, there are some people who do not want to use birth control in any form, for fear of the side effects that arise.
If you are still afraid to use contraception, you can use a natural contraceptive method that is commonly called the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). The FAM method is a way to plan a pregnancy using natural methods. This method will not only be limited to checking the menstrual cycle, but also combines several methods, such as the calendar method (rhythm method), the basal body temperature method, and the cervical mucus method to determine a woman's fertile period.
Then is this method safe and effective to maintain sexual and reproductive health?
We will discuss more deeply the meaning of Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) and how this natural contraceptive method works.
Understanding the FAM Method
FAM or Natural Family Planning is a natural way to prevent pregnancy without using common family planning tools, such as pills, injections, or IUDs. This method is used to find out when your fertile period occurs, by recording your menstrual cycle. By tracking the menstrual cycle, you can find out when your ovaries will release an egg each month. This phase is known as the ovulation phase.
How the FAM Method Works
As previously explained, the FAM method is not only limited to checking women's menstrual cycles, but this method also combines several other methods. Other methods include the calendar method (rhythm method), the basal body temperature method, and the cervical mucus method.
By using these various methods, the results obtained become very accurate. We cannot rely solely on the calendar method, because it is feared that the results will be less accurate.
Actually, the way the FAM method works is to avoid having sex during a woman's fertile period, or what is commonly called the “fertile window.” During this fertile period, ovulation will occur so the ovaries will release egg cells.
5 days before ovulation, when ovulation occurs, and 24 hours after ovulation occurs, is the most fertile period for women. At this time, the potential for pregnancy is very high.
For clarity, we will discuss how the other methods work:
In the calendar method, you can find out your fertile period (ovulation period) by checking your menstrual cycle. Ovulation itself occurs when an egg is released by the ovary. Generally, this period occurs on the 12th to the 16th day for those of you who have a 28-day menstrual cycle.
Basal Body Temperature Method
In the basal body temperature method, you can measure your basal body temperature right after waking up. Basal temperature itself is your body temperature when you are resting or before waking up and doing activities. You can use a thermometer and place it in your mouth to measure your basal temperature.
After ovulation takes place, your basal temperature will increase between 0.5-1 degrees celsius from the normal temperature of 33.5-36 degrees celsius. With this temperature difference, this method is effectively used to determine your ovulation cycle.
Cervical Mucus Method
In the period before ovulation, the vagina will generally secrete mucus with a slippery, thin, and stretchy texture. By observing changes in cervical mucus during the menstrual cycle, you can determine the right time to plan for pregnancy.
Is the FAM Method Effective?
This question is often asked by people who will try to use this method. When you use the FAM method correctly, the success rate of FAM in preventing pregnancy reaches 90%.
On the other hand, according to Planned Parenthood, if you are not consistent in practicing this FAM method, then the failure rate is predicted to reach 24%. Thus, if there are 100 women who use the FAM method, then 24 people will get pregnant.
For that reason, when using this natural contraceptive method you need to be consistent in observing the menstrual cycle that you are experiencing so that the FAM is effective. You can delve deeper into this method to get a broader direction. Good luck!
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