The safe day’s calculation method is based on your fertility awareness. When used with a clear understanding and careful following of the rules, sex on safe days is shown to be 99.6% effective in avoiding pregnancy. To have a good understanding and to be sure, you will need to follow all of these methods described below.
What are pros of knowing and using your safe days?
– No artificial hormones.
– No pills needed.
– You learn a lot about your body.
– No unwanted implants or medical procedures.
– Environmental friendly.
– No side effects.
– Intimate pleasure!
What makes this so efficient?
In the average menstrual cycle, there are around 7 to 8 days which are very ripe days for getting pregnant. When you can identify these days and can abstain or use protection on those days, you can enjoy unprotected sex with your beloved on the other days without getting pregnant.
A single egg is released in each cycle – the egg lives only for 24 hours. The sperm can live in your body for six days and can fertilise the egg in this period. So collectively, a woman is prone to get pregnant in the 7 to 8 days around the release of the egg.
How to calculate your safe days with your period history?
Before you begin to use this method, you will need to collect accurate data about your menstrual cycle. Observe and note down when your period starts and ends for at least the last 6 months. To do this, note down the first day of your period, mark the first day of your next period, and so on. The number of days in each cycle can be calculated based on the difference between these dates.
For example, if your first period was on 20th January and the next period began on 18th February, your cycle would be 29 days long.
This method is unreliable in some situations
It is normal for cycles to vary each month; but if over 4 of your last cycles are shorter than 27 days, this method is not for you. The calculations are reliable when your cycles are between 28 to 32 days. Also, little variations in the last 6 cycles are not a problem, but the difference between your shortest cycle and longest cycle should not be more than 7 days. If just had a baby, or had your first period, or are nearing menopause, this method might not work well for you.
How to know your safe days with your period history
Take the shortest cycle in the past 6 months, subtract 18 from it. This will give you your first fertile day. For example, if the shortest cycle you had was 26 days, it should be 26-18=8. Mark the day 8 from the beginning of your periods – this is the beginning of your ovulation.
To find out the last fertile day of your cycle, take the longest cycle you had in the past 6 months. Subtract 11 from it. Mark the eleventh day from the beginning of your period. This is your last fertile day. For example, if your longest cycle was 30 days long, you get 30 – 11 = 19. The 19th day of your cycle is your last fertile day.
This method only tells you a prediction of what could you be your fertile and infertile days. You should corroborate the results with the below-said methods to make sure you are indeed infertile.
Understand your body temperature
-Your body gives away many signals that it is fertile and ovulating. One of the signs is your body temperature. The rules for this method are:
-Use a good quality basal thermometer to take accurate readings.
-You must take your temperature religiously before getting out of bed, every morning.
-You must have also had at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep before taking the temperate.
-If you use a vaginal, rectal or oral thermometer, use the same method consistently to get accurate results.
-Use a graph to see a pattern emerge. When you see a half degree rise in temperature consistently for three days, it means you are ovulating – you are prone to getting pregnant in these days.
-Every month, from the start of your periods to around 4 days after your body temperature rises, you can get pregnant. The rest of the days are safe.
-For most women, the typical temperature is at 96 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit and goes up to 97 to 99 degrees upon ovulation.
-Stress, heated mattresses, jet lag, alcohol, caffeine, smoking and being a night owl will definitely mess up with your temperatures – if you do all of these, this method might not be the right fit for you.
Keeping Track of your Vaginal Discharge
Cervical Mucus is the sticky stuff that comes out of your vagina. The hormones that are responsible for your periods are the ones that control your discharge too, so keeping track of the discharge is one way to know when your body is less likely to get pregnant. It can be handy if you can take the help of a doctor when you begin, so you can confidently differentiate between the different discharges.
The rules for the cervical mucus method are:
– You must keep track of your discharge for at least 2 cycles to be sure that you understand what is happening.
– Use an app or chart to keep track of your discharge every day.
– Start noting down your mucus from the day your periods stop completely.
– Wipe your vagina before you pee. Use a white toilet paper, look at your underwear or use clean fingers to check out the consistency.
– Chart out the periods, dry days, sticky days, wet days, slippery days and cloudy days.
– Sex can make you secrete differently, so note this down in your chart.
What vaginal discharges mean
– When you are on your periods, blood will mix with mucus. You have high chances of getting pregnant during your periods.
– The immediate days after the periods when you are safe – you won’t get pregnant.
– Mucus can be white, yellow or cloudy and feels tacky and sticky when you ovulate. These are the best days to get pregnant.
– Days, when you have clear, slippery egg white kind of mucus that stretches between fingers, are your fertile days too – you’ll very likely get pregnant.
– At the end of your cycle, you’ll have dry days again – those are safe days where you can lose protection.
– After 2 months, you’ll notice a pattern – check these results with your body temperature and cycle length to get definitive results.
For women who have stable periods
If you are that lucky girl whose periods are always on time, with cycles no shorter than 26 days, no longer than 32 days, you have a simple ticket. You just need to abstain from sex or use protection from day 8 to 19 of each cycle. Remember, this is only if you are in your prime reproductive health with very regular periods.
Breastfeeding, childbirth, the morning after pills and birth control pills can affect this method. Be careful when these come along, or you are good to go.
Are these the right methods for you?
All these described methods are collectively termed fertility awareness methods and are around 76% to 96% effective, totally dependent on how you practise them. Beware that these methods don’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. There are lots of apps, charts and cycle beads that help you keep track of these methods. When in doubt, confirm with your doctor to make sure you are on the right track. We believe information is strength!