If you are sexually active, you must take precautions to guard against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. For unmarried women who engage in multiple partners, it is still best to use a barrier method. However, for women who are in long term monogamous relationships, there are other birth control methods available.
There are natural and artificial methods available for women today. If you want a natural birth control method, using the calendar method or the rhythm method is an effective way to guard against unplanned pregnancies.
Here’s how to use the calendar method.
- To use the calendar method, you must have a regular cycle. It will only work if you have a regular 28-30 day cycle. If you have irregular periods, it’s best to opt for artificial methods such as taking oral contraceptives or using a barrier method. Also, you may not use the calendar method of your period cycle lasts less than 28 days.
- It’s best to have a calendar you can write on. Once you calculate the days, just pencil it in your calendar so you know when you have your safe days and when you don’t. This will make it easier for your to track your fertile and infertile days at a quick glance instead of having to manually calculate and remember what days you can engage in unprotected intercourse.
- Understand the difference between a safe and unsafe day. Safe days mean you can have sex and the likelihood of getting pregnant is very low. If will be safe for your man to have his sperm inside you. Unsafe days mean that the chances of conception are very high so sexual contact should be avoided. The unsafe days are the five days prior and after ovulation.
- Track your period of at least eight to twelve months to establish a pattern. Note the start and end date of your period. If you have a basic pattern set, you may use the rhythm method. Circle the first day of your period on the calendar and count the days till you get your next period.
- The safe days are the first 8 days starting on the first day of your period. Days 9-18 are the least safe because ovulation occurs at this time (about 2 weeks after the first day of your period). Avoid sexual intercourse during this time.
- Keep in mind that the calendar method will not prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Also, any time you engage in intercourse, there is always the possibility of conception. The only fool proof way of preventing an unplanned pregnancy is to abstain from sexual intercourse. Also, the rhythm method may not be reliable especially during times of high stress, wherein stress levels can affect a woman’s monthly cycle. If your cycle changes, use a barrier method or other methods of birth control and wait until your cycle reestablishes a more stable pattern again.
Talk to your gynecologist or your doctor if you have other reproductive concerns. Find out if the calendar method will work for you.