How to Prevent Pregnancy Naturally

Fertility Awareness

A woman’s choice in birth control is an incredibly personal decision, with lots of factors to consider.

No one knows you or your body like you do. You don’t have to give away your decision about your body and your birth control of choice for what your doctor or your partner think you should use.

The Fertility Awareness Method is a natural form of birth control practiced by observing and recording our body’s fertility signs which can be used to prevent pregnancy naturally.

If this is your first time learning about an effective natural birth control option, this is exciting stuff!
You might be like; “Wait, what. Is this for real!? … How did I not know this!?”

The Science

Preventing pregnancy naturally exists with a method called the Sympto-Thermal Method of Fertility Awareness.

It’s the real deal and it’s 99.4% effective (This is the same effectiveness as the pill!) Here’s the science behind it…

Conception can/will occur only during the “Fertile Window”

The relationship between menstruation and female fertility has been recognized for thousands of years; but surprising as it may seem, we have only achieved a thorough scientific understanding of the timing of ovulation and how it relates to conception and fertility in the past twenty years. Groundbreaking studies led by the NIH and published in the New England Journal of Medicine and elsewhere proved the existence of a “Fertile Window”: there are several days surrounding the time of ovulation during which it is possible to conceive. Achieving pregnancy outside of the Fertile Window has never been documented 1.

The Fertile Window can be detected in a highly accurate manner

The Fertile Window revolves around ovulation but is also dependent on dramatic hormonal changes that are necessary for ovulation to occur. Evidence of these events can be detected through a wide variety of methods, including basal body temperature measurements, cervical fluid assessment, and more formal tests of various body fluids, such as blood, urine, and saliva. While the accuracy and effectiveness of each method varies, there is essentially unanimous agreement among physicians, scientists, and other experts that using one (or more) of these methods, it is possible to detect the presence of the Fertile Window.

Refraining from unprotected intercourse during the Fertile Window will help women who don’t want to get pregnant prevent unintended pregnancy.

“Fertility Awareness” is the concept of using knowledge of the Fertile Window and its timing to prevent unintended pregnancy. The history of contraception based on Fertility Awareness is long and uneven; it has included many versions of the Rhythm or Calendar method, Temperature method, Billings/ovulation method, and many others. Studies aiming to clarify the effectiveness of the various methods have been inconsistent in their method and study populations, and not surprisingly, in their results. An objective analysis of the literature demonstrates the following:

a. When women are given the opportunity to follow the method correctly, it is a highly effective form of contraception, on par with some forms of medical/hormonal birth control
less than 1% pregnancy rate per year with perfect use
1-2% pregnancy rate per yearwith actual use in the largest and best available prospective study

b. Compliance and adherence have been the major limitations to long-term effectiveness of contraception based on Fertility Awareness. The effectiveness of Fertility Awareness will increase amongst a self-selected, highly motivated population.


Timing of sexual intercourse in relation to ovulation. Wilcox et al. New England Journal of Medicine 1995; 333:1571-1521. 
Stanford et al. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2002; 100:1333-1341.
Grimes et al. Contraception 2005; 72:85-90.
FAM is 99.4% effective when used correctly. P.Frank-Herrman et al. Human Reproduction 2007; 22:1310-1319.
Freundl et al. The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care 2010; 15:113–123.
Robinson et al. Current Medical Research and Opinion 2007; 23:301–306.
Bigelow et al. Human Reproduction 2004; 19:889-892.
P.Frank-Herrmann, et. al. in Human Reproduction
Pearl Index

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Wonderful Within is a blog designed to educate and empower women from within. We talk all things wonderful, including: menstrual cycles, periods, charting, fertility awareness and women’s health and wellness choices.


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