Avoiding pregnancy using your most fertile days
Some couples prefer to use natural contraception
methods to avoid conception.The rhythm method relies on the meticulous recording of symptoms and timings, and abstaining from unprotected sex for the most fertile days of a woman’s cycle.
If you want to calculate the days to avoid unprotected sex, you’ll need to start by charting the length of your cycle for around six to 12 months. There are apps and websites that can help you calculate your ‘safe’ days but these rely on the correct information and aren’t 100% reliable as ovulation indicators.
The basic method:
Find the length of the shortest cycle, and then subtract 18 from the total number of days in that cycle to find the first fertile day of your cycle.
Work out the length of your longest menstrual cycle and subtract 11 from the total number of days to find the last fertile day. This method can be inaccurate in women with irregular or shorter menstrual cycles. Ovulation can also be affected by stress, illness and other factors so if it’s very important to you that you don’t become pregnant, the rhythm method alone isn’t advised.