Everybody loves kids. After all, they’re cute and cuddly. But if that’s all you think about kids, you probably don’t have your own. Ask any parent, and you’d find out what a menace those cute, little angels are. The whole birthing process and a nine-month-long, uncomfortable pregnancy duration are enough to scare the living daylights out of any person. Even after that, raising a child is not an easy job by any means. Having a kid effectively means the end of your life as you know it. Which is why you probably shouldn’t have kids until you’re ready to make that sacrifice – but what about accidental pregnancies?
According to the National Centre for Health Statistics, nearly 40% of all pregnancies in the United States are accidental! Which demonstrates that individuals are either excessively brave or the conception prevention estimates aren’t working that well. Whatever the reasons might be, there are definite steps you can take to minimize the probability of having an unplanned pregnancy.
How to avoid pregnancy?
Whether you’re feeling adventurous and want to have unprotected sex, or you’re just paranoid about getting pregnant, even after taking all the precautions, you can benefit a lot from knowing what time of your menstrual cycle is best for avoiding pregnancy.
Contrary to the common belief, women are not always fertile. The probability of having a pregnancy after having sex varies concerning the menstruation cycle. You’re most likely to get pregnant just before you have your period and least likely to get pregnant just after you’ve had it. Using this knowledge, you can track your menstrual cycle and have sex accordingly, minimizing the chances of a pregnancy. This method is also known as the ‘calendar method’ or ‘rhythm method.’ In more technical terms, it is known as the Fertility Awareness Method or FAM in short.
As successful as this method is in reducing unplanned pregnancies, FAM is no replacement for birth control or protection. According to US Department of Health and Human Services, the Fertility Awareness Method has a success rate of only 75%, which means that out of 100 couples who use this method, 25 end up with an accidental pregnancy. However, don’t be disheartened yet. The actual reason FAM isn’t very successful is that most people aren’t implementing it correctly. So let us learn how to use the FAM properly.
Implementing FAM properly
To apply the FAM properly, you need to keep two things in mind. Firstly, there are days on which you cannot get pregnant. Secondly, you need to monitor your menstrual cycle to find out where those days lie.
According to Planned Parenthood, “the days near ovulation are your fertile days – when you’re most likely to get pregnant.” So if you want to avoid getting pregnant, it is advisable not to have unprotected sex during the days leading to your period.
Let us understand this process in detail. To get pregnant, you require an egg and a sperm. Research has shown that an egg can live about a day after ovulation while a sperm can live up to six days after ejaculation, which means that you’re fertile for around seven days of every menstrual cycle. This means that you are fertile from five days before ovulation to a day after ovulation. If only you were capable of feeling when your ovaries were releasing eggs to your fallopian tubes, this process would be pretty straightforward, but unfortunately, it isn’t so. This brings us to the second part of the FAM.
Finding the days, you’re not fertile
To be able to use FAM effectively, you need to research, track, and monitor your menstrual cycle very carefully. By keeping track of your menstrual history, you can predict when you are most likely to conceive. There are explicit techniques you can use to make sense of when you will ovulate.
There’s the Temperature Method, where you monitor your body temperature daily. There’s the Cervical Mucus Method, in which you decide when you are going to be ovulating by keeping track of your vaginal discharge. There’s the Calendar Method, where you can count your periods on the calendar and predict with a certain amount of confidence when your next period is going to be. With the help of this information, you can make your safe period chart which can show you the days that are safe for having unprotected sex.
Precautions you should take
Before you decide to give FAM a shot, we’d recommend consulting your gynecologist. They can help you better understand the process and can also help you track your menstruation cycle and develop your safe period chart, should you choose to embark on the adventurous journey. Also, you’d have to be very disciplined, as even a little slip up could end up in pregnancy – and that is no joke.
A final word of advice would be to use FAM in tandem with other birth control measures. This would minimize even the slightest chance of having a pregnancy. In the end, though, it’s your body, and it’s your call. Whether or not an orgasm is worth risking a pregnancy, is up to you.