Fertility awareness works by observing and recording your body’s different natural signs each day of your monthly cycle to work out when you are most fertile.
Fertility awareness methods, also known as natural family planning involves working out when a wāhine/women+ is in the most fertile phase of the monthly cycle, and avoiding unprotected sex during this time.
Fertility awareness works by watching and writing down your body’s changes each
day during your monthly cycle. The main signs are:
A specialist teacher will show you how to record the signs and explain what you can tell from them.
Fertility awareness is not the same as “withdrawal” (when the male takes out their penis before they ejaculate).
A menstrual cycle, on average is approximately 28 days (although this can be longer or shorter) and the fertile period lasts for around eight to nine days.
This is because eggs can live for 24 hours (and there can sometimes be a second egg released after 24 hours) and sperm can also live inside the body for up to seven days, so if you had sex seven days before ovulation you may still become pregnant.
Fertility awareness must be properly taught. Then the instructions must be properly followed or it will be much less effective.
Recent use of hormonal contraception may affect fertility indicators until regular menstrual cycles have been established. A minimum of three complete cycles after stopping hormonal contraception.
Other medication, for example pain relief, antihistamines and some antibiotics can also affect different fertility indicators.
This method can be used by anyone, if they have sufficient commitment and can share the responsibility with their partner.
However, for some people for whom pregnancy poses a significant risk relying on fertility indicators for the prevention of pregnancy is not recommended.
You will need to be taught natural family planning by a specialist teacher and there can be a cost.
There are phone apps and online systems however the reliability and effectiveness of using these is not known, you should always be taught fertility awareness methods by a specialist teacher.
A non-hormonal (Copper) IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic device which contains copper. It is put into the uterus (womb). A Copper IUD does not contain hormones. The copper IUD can also be used as an Emergency Contraception.
LASTS FROM 5 TO 10 YEARS | PLACED IN THE UTERUS | EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY | EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION – UP TO 5 DAYS AFTER SEX
A Hormonal IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic device, which contains the hormone progestogen to control your fertility. The device is put into the uterus (womb).
HORMONES | LASTS FROM 3 TO 5 YEARS | PLACED IN THE UTERUS | EFFECTIVE IN 7 DAYS
Two small, flexible plastic rods that are placed just under the skin in the upper arm. The implant releases the hormone progestogen to control fertility.
HORMONES | LASTS UP TO 5 YEARS | PLACED IN THE ARM | EFFECTIVE IN 7 DAYS