Natural Family Planning WHEN and HOW?
Natural Family Planning (also called Fertility Awareness Methods) is the technique of working out exactly what stage of your menstrual cycle you are in, and at which stages you are not fertile and having unprotected sex at those times only. Natural Family Planning requires you to observe fertility signs. There are several different methods such as tracking the days of your menstrual cycle, paying attention to body temperature fluctuations, and keeping a very close eye on changes to your cervical mucus.
Each technique is complex and relies on a deep and intimate knowledge of your own menstrual cycle. The techniques base themselves on the fact that there are specific days during each menstrual cycle, the days before and shortly after ovulation, where your are most likely to get pregnant and others where you are less likely, which is where the intimate knowledge and the calculations come in.
There are several more techniques, but they can all be thrown by slight changes to your cycle, a miscalculation, spontaneous lifestyle resulting in non-regular sleeping time or a host of other variables. Natural family planning is definitely not a recommendation for the forgetful, the disorganized or the spontaneous.
If natural family planning interests you, it is advised to use a barrier method, e.g. diaphragm, cervical cap or condom, or not have sex on the days you are fertile. This may mean that you need to abstain from sex or use another method at least on 12-18 days of your menstrual cycle. If you want to get pregnant, natural family planning can help you to know which days you should be having sex to become pregnant.