Fertility awareness or FA is a set of methods through which women can determine her most fertile phase and the infertile phase in the menstrual cycle. Fertility awareness methods help one to avoid unwanted pregnancy or to know the best time to get pregnant. This method is also known as rhythm method or family planning method.
Fertility awareness is a must if a female wants to keep check of her gynecological health as well. With the growth in technology and scientific research, one has access to many types of fertility awareness methods or techniques. Let’s take a look at some of the main ones:
1. Calendar Method
The first and most effective FAM or fertility awareness method is the calendar method which is referred to as the rhythm method. In this technique, a female predicts when the ovulation would happen on the basis of the ovulation period in the previous cycles.
2. Ovulation Method
The second method is called the ovulation method or the mucus method. In this kind of a fertility awareness method, a female is required to watch the changes in the cervical mucus. The vaginal mucus changes in appearance at the time of ovulation. When a woman is most fertile, the mucus tends to be more in quantity whereas when she is past her ovulation, the mucus is less and is also sticky as compared to wet and sticky during the ovulation phase.
3. Sympto-Thermal Method
The symptom thermal method is a kind of a family planning method in which several methods are used at the same time to determine the fertility period. It includes all of the above said methods and also other symptoms such as slight lower abdominal pain, breast tenderness, heaviness in the abdominal area etc.
4. Basal Body Temperature Method or BBT
BBT is a type of a fertility awareness method which is based on taking daily temperature reading of the body so as to know the time of ovulation. When a female is undergoing her ovulation phase, her body temperature tends to be high in comparison to the period after ovulation. So if a female wants to know her fertile phase, she must take body temperature readings every morning and graph the results.
It is important to know that many things can affect the ovulation pattern of a female and fertility awareness methods are never a complete proof for getting pregnant or avoiding pregnancy. The best way to avoid pregnancy is good communication and usage of proper contraceptives.