The rhythm method, sometimes known as the calendar method, is a form of natural birth control. Natural birth control refers to any one of several natural methods or techniques used to prevent pregnancy. Natural birth control methods, for instance, do not include prescription medications (such as oral contraceptive pills), topical spermicides, or any type of physical barriers like condoms and diaphragms. Many couples prefer natural birth control methods like the rhythm method in order to avoid the side effects birth control medications can have.
The rhythm method consists of a couple purposely avoiding sexual intercourse in the periods before, during, and right after ovulation. In general, ovulation happens approximately 14 days before the beginning of a women's menstruation period. In order for the rhythm method to be effective, a couple must track a woman's cycle over the course of several months, and pinpoint which days the woman is ovulating. Once the period of ovulation has been determined, a couple should abstain from sexual intercourse for 5 days before ovulation, and 5 days after ovulation. This caution should be taken because perm can live inside a vagina for several days. Thus, avoiding intercourse just on the day of ovulation is not enough to securely prevent pregnancy.
In order to determine her ovulation cycle, a woman must monitor her body on a daily basis. She must keep daily records, note any body changes, and compile a calendar of these things over the course of several months. Doctors or counselors trained in fertility awareness are a good source for anyone interested in the rhythm method. In fact, couples who plan on using the rhythm method as their only source of birth control should make an appointment with a fertility counselor to learn certain skills that can enable them to practice the rhythm method more effectively.
Many couples also use tools to test for ovulation. These kits are available at drugstores or at family planning centers. These ovulations kits are mainly used by couples who are using them to become pregnant, though they can be used to help avoid pregnancy.
The effectiveness of the rhythm method depends largely on how consistent and disciplined a couple is in keeping track of the woman's ovulation cycle, and avoiding having sexual intercourse on the days before, during, and right after ovulation. If a woman's ovulation cycle is highly consistent, it will be much easier for a couple to keep accurate records. Keeping accurate records is crucial-in order for the rhythm method to work, a couple must be able to rely on the information they have compiled.
Although using natural birth control techniques can help couples avoid the side effects birth control methods such as prescription medications can cause, natural birth control methods are not always the best choice. While the rhythm method can be effective, it is not recommended for teen or young couples who wish to prevent pregnancy. Also, the rhythm method is no substitute for other birth control options, such as condoms, that can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.