How It Feels
Keeping a record of your menstrual cycle
(fertility awareness) takes time and effort every day, but it is important to
do so to find out your most fertile time.
You may have an unplanned pregnancy using
fertility awareness. To use these methods to prevent a pregnancy, do not have
sex during the entire time that an egg can be fertilized, including 5 days
Generally, your most fertile days begin
5 days before ovulation and end on the day of ovulation. Pregnancy can
occasionally occur after ovulation, but it is less likely than in the days
Calendar (rhythm) method
If your menstrual cycle
is 28 days long, you are most likely to ovulate about 14 to 15 days after
menstrual bleeding begins.
If you do not want to become pregnant,
the calendar method of birth control is not the best choice for women who have
short, long, or irregular menstrual cycles. For this reason, the calendar
method alone is never recommended for birth control. It must be used in
combination with other birth control methods.
Standard days method (SDM)
The SDM works best for
women who have cycles between 26 and 32 days long. If you have more than one
cycle in one year that is shorter than 26 days or longer than 32 days, you need
to use another method to avoid pregnancy.
Basal body temperature (BBT) method
body temperature (BBT) usually drops about 0.4°F (0.2°C) below your normal
temperature 1 to 2 days before ovulation. It then increases the same amount or
more above your normal temperature 1 to 2 days after ovulation and stays high
until just before your menstrual period begins. Since the rise in BBT does not
occur until after ovulation, it is possible to become pregnant if you have sex
just before or during ovulation.
Many women do not have a regular
temperature pattern, so it can be hard to use this method to know when
Cervical mucus method (Billings method)