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Fertility Awareness Method

What are Fertility Awareness Methods?

Fertility awareness methods (FAMs) are ways to track your ovulation so you can prevent pregnancy. FAMs are also called "natural family planning” and “the rhythm method.”


Fertility awareness methods help you track your menstrual cycle so you’ll know when your ovaries release an egg every month (ovulation).

The days near ovulation are your fertile days — when you’ll most likely get pregnant. So people use FAMs to prevent pregnancy by avoiding sex or using another birth control method (like condoms) on those “unsafe,” fertile days.

There are a few different FAMs that help you track your fertility signs. You can use 1 or more of these methods to predict when you’ll ovulate:

  • The Temperature Method: you take your temperature in the morning every day before you get out of bed.

  • The Cervical Mucus Method: you check your cervical mucus (vaginal discharge) every day.

  • The Calendar Method: You track your menstrual cycle for several months to figure out if your cycle is always between 26 and 32 days long — you can’t use this method if it’s longer or shorter. Once you’ve established that your cycle is in the right range, you use another form of birth control (or don’t have vaginal sex) on days 8-19, which is when you’re fertile. PCOS, breastfeeding women whose period has not returned, recently postpartum women and perimenopausal women are not advised to use this method as pregnancy risk is higher due to the irregular nature of their cycles.

 Daysy Fertility Monitor 

  • Daysy is a type of temperature method.

  • Daysy is a very effective means of birth control.

  • Daysy fertility tracker calculates with precision your fertile and non-fertile days each cycle. 

  • Daysy is a hormone-free solution for managing your fertility

  • Daysy is color-coded, taking the guesswork out of fertility awareness.  

Green – Infertile days (think green light = go)

Yellow – Caution Days

Red – Fertile

Purple – Menstruation


How Effective is Daysy?

  • For 100 women who use Daysy, around 0.7 of them become pregnant in 1 year. 

  • That is 99.3% effective.

  • Those are good odds

  • More about Daysy: check them out here.

Natural Cycles Fertility Monitor

  • Use a Ring, Thermamoter, or your Apple Watch to monitor fertility.

  • You choose the device you prefer.

  • As effective as Daysy.

  • More about Natural Cycles: check them out here. 

Fertility Rings

  • Such as the Ouring Ring or Femometer

How effective are fertility awareness methods?

FAMs are about 76-99% effective: that means 12-24 out of 100 couples who use FAMs will get pregnant each year, depending on which method(s) are used. If you use multiple FAMs together, they work even better. Using Daysy is the most effective option. 

The better you are about using FAMs the right way — tracking your fertility signs daily and avoiding sex or using birth control on “unsafe” days — the more effective they’ll be. But there’s a chance that you’ll still get pregnant, even if you always use them perfectly.


How can I make FAMs more effective?

Like all birth control methods, FAMs are more effective when you use them as perfectly as possible. How well FAMs work also depends on both partners, so it’s important that each of you is supportive and learns how to use the methods.


The best way to use FAMs is to combine the temperature, cervical mucus, and calendar methods. Each of these methods relies on different signs to predict your fertile days, so using them together gives you the best picture of your fertility and makes FAMs more accurate. For example, keeping track of your cervical mucus pattern can be useful if your temperature chart gets messed up because you’re sick or stressed. And using more than 1 method may help you narrow down your fertile days, so you will have more safe days each month.

You can keep track of your mucus, days, and temperatures on a fertility awareness method chart like this one.

What do I need to know about my menstrual cycle and fertility?

In order to use FAMs, you’ve got to learn a lot about your menstrual cycle. You have to know when you’re ovulating and fertile, and when it’s safe for you to have sex without risking pregnancy.

In order for pregnancy to happen, a sperm cell must join with your egg (this is called fertilization). During your menstrual cycle, there are certain days when it’s possible for sperm to fertilize an egg and cause a pregnancy — these are your fertile days.

Each month, your ovary releases an egg into your fallopian tube (this is called ovulation). Your egg is in your fallopian tube for about 12-24 hours. Sperm can hang out in your uterus and fallopian tube for up to 6 days after sex. If a sperm cell does join up with your egg in the tube, the fertilized egg travels from your fallopian tube to your uterus (womb) and can attach to the uterine wall, which starts a pregnancy. If your egg doesn’t get fertilized, it dissolves and you eventually get your period.

Since an egg lives about a day after ovulation and sperm live about 6 days after sex, you’re basically fertile for around 7 days of every menstrual cycle: the 5 days before you ovulate, and the day you ovulate. You can also get pregnant a day or 2 after ovulation, but it's less likely.

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