Fertility Awareness Methods

  • 76-99.6 % Effective
  • No STI Protection
  • Daily use

What is natural family planning (fertility awareness)?

Natural family planning (or fertility awareness) is avoiding sex around the time of the month where you are fertile (most likely to get pregnant).

How effective is natural family planning?

Depending on the method you use to track your fertile time and when to avoid sex, natural family planning can be over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Some methods might only by 76% effective at preventing pregnancy.

What stops natural family planning from working?

  • Having sex in your fertile time
  • Any changes to your menstrual cycle can make it hard to track your fertile time and when to avoid sex.

How do I use natural family planning?

To work out your fertile time and when to avoid sex , you can record daily a combination of the following bodily changes:

  • Thickness or wetness of the sticky fluid (mucus) made by the cervix (opening of the womb)
: illustration of mucus in cervix
  • Changes in your body temperature
illustration of person measuring body temperature
  • Your menstrual cycle (the number of days from when you have your period, up until the day before your next period)
illustration of calendar for monitoring menstrual cycle

How can I learn more about natural family planning?

Talk to your doctor or nurse if you want to learn more about natural family planning and natural methods of contraception. They may refer you to a specialist clinic or online service.

What is good about natural family planning?

Natural family planning:

  • Has no side effects
  • Fits in with most religious or cultural beliefs
  • Can also be used to help you get pregnant

Can natural family planning cause any serious health problems?

There are no known serious health risks from using natural family planning.

Reasons why natural family planning might not be a good option for you:

  • If you feel like having sex around ovulation time (before or when you release an egg)
  • You have irregular or infrequent periods

What if I forget to use natural family planning?

If you had sex at a time when you could be fertile, you may need emergency contraception.

What happens if I get pregnant while I’m using natural family planning?

It is safe to continue the pregnancy or to have an abortion.

Can I use natural family planning after I’ve had a baby?

Natural family planning is difficult to use until your periods return to normal.

What else should I know about natural family planning?

  • You will need to be good at noticing the changes that happen to your body every day.
  • Natural family planning does not protect you from sexually transmissible infections (STIs).
  • There will be days in during your menstrual cycle when you cannot have unprotected sex.
  • Natural family planning is one of many types of contraception. See other options.

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Where to get more information, support or advice

This is general information only, you should speak to your doctor for advice and further instruction.

Last updated: 28 June 2018