Table of contents:
- Natural family planning
- The symptothermal method
- Temperature method
- Mucus observation
- Observation of the cervix
Natural family planning
Many women find the hormonal intervention in their bodies uncomfortable and want an alternative method of contraception. Knowledge of one's own body and the development of positive body awareness are the prerequisites for every woman / every man to deal responsibly with oneself and to use contraceptive methods correctly…
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The symptothermal method
This method is based on the evaluation of two or more body signs to determine the fertile days in the cycle.
- Measurement of the wake-up temperature
- Mucus observation
- Observation of the cervix
This method is very reliable if unprotected sexual intercourse really only takes place on the absolutely certain sterile days. Application errors and a lack of consistency in implementation have a massive impact on security. When calculating the fertile days, the fact that sperm can still fertilize an egg cell 5-7 days after sexual intercourse must also be taken into account (Pearl index 0.8-10).
This method has to be learned well to be safe and is particularly suitable for couples for whom an unplanned pregnancy would not be a misfortune.
- The symptothermal method can be used both for contraception and for fulfilling the desire to have children.
- The knowledge of processes in the female body is expanded.
- Regular precise body observation and its recording are necessary.
- Consistent application and discipline are required.
- Misjudgments are possible.
- The body temperature can also be increased for other reasons (e.g. illness).
- During the fertile days, if there is no desire to have children, a contraceptive (e.g. condom or diaphragm) must be used or intercourse must be avoided.
The fertile and infertile days within a menstrual cycle are determined using body temperature.
How is the temperature method used?
The body temperature must always be measured at the same time before getting up. The wake-up temperature shows when ovulation is over. It is slightly lower in the first half of the cycle - from the beginning of the menstrual period to ovulation - than in the second half of the cycle. After ovulation, the body temperature rises a little and remains elevated until the next menstrual period. If the temperature has risen and remains at this higher level, ovulation has occurred.
The temperature is written down day by day or entered on a temperature curve sheet. The woman can see her ovulation from the curve.
The "3-over-6 rule"
The easiest way to assess the temperature curve is to use the so-called "3-over-6 rule". As soon as the temperature is higher on three consecutive days than on the previous six days, it can be assumed that ovulation has occurred. From the third day after ovulation, it is assumed that the egg is no longer capable of fertilization. The body temperature can be measured in the mouth, vagina or anus.
Note Each cycle must always be measured at the same point. A gallium thermometer or a digital thermometer can be used for the measurement.
How reliable is the temperature method?
The reliability depends on the error-free and precise application. The prerequisite is to know your own body well, enough sleep and no stress. (Pearl index 3-20).
When observing the mucus (also known as the billing method), the woman observes the mucus that is formed in the uterus (cervical mucus) and can be felt at the entrance to the vagina. This cervical mucus changes over the course of the cycle. At the beginning of the cycle, the vaginal entrance usually feels dry and there is hardly any mucus. A few days before ovulation, a thin, transparent mucus is noticeable - the vaginal entrance feels damp.
By observing the cervical mucus daily, the woman can also determine her fertile days. The result of the daily phlegm observation is entered in a curve sheet like the body temperature.
Note The mucus observation shows when ovulation takes place. The wake-up temperature shows when ovulation is over.
Symptothermal method (Rötzer)
In the sympto-thermal method, the woman combines temperature measurement, calendar method and mucus observation, which significantly increases safety compared to the individual methods. (Pearl index 0.8-10).
Observation of the cervix
The woman examines her cervix, which changes during the cycle and opens at the time of ovulation. The clear ovulation mucus is then clearly visible. If this method is strictly used, unprotected sexual intercourse may only take place on the "safe" days after ovulation until the next menstrual period. Only then is this method reliable.
Note If this method is used strictly, unprotected sexual intercourse may only take place on the "safe" days after ovulation until the next menstrual period. Only then is this method reliable.