Fertility Awareness Methods is an umbrella term for a method of contraception that works by being able to identify when in the menstrual cycle you are fertile. By identifying and recording the signs and symptoms of ovulation (such as the presence of cervical mucus and raised body temperature) and tracking your periods it is possible to identify your ‘fertile window’, and avoid sex or use barrier methods such as condoms during this time.
If you’re interested in learning to use Fertility Awareness Methods, make sure you’re taught by a qualified fertility awareness teacher. Find an NHS fertility awareness clinic in your local area. You need to receive good instructions and support.
Your teacher will be able to show you how to regularly monitor the length of your menstrual cycle, body temperature and cervical mucus in order to give you a more accurate picture of when you’re likely to be most fertile. You can use fertility charts and other fertility monitoring devices like computerised thermometers and dipstick hormone tests.
How to stop
Stopping using this method is easy, you just stop tracking your fertility indicators.
Check out our survey results to learn about the experiences of women who have tried FAM.
Things that can go wrong
It’s not an exact science and can take several months to learn effectively
You have to be committed to keeping daily records
Lots of factors (illness, lifestyle, stress or travel) may make fertility indicators harder to interpret meaning you may not accurately predict your fertile window.
You may have sex accidentally without protection when you are fertile and that could lead to pregnancy.